Although the early motoring world was dominated by driving goggles, the rudimentary eye protectors quickly went out of style after the advent of the windshield for everyone but monkeys, dogs, and old British men named Lester. Despite this, however, it appears that Mercedes-Benz is taking automotive eye-wear full-circle. Apparently, the German automaker thinks the next big thing for in-car infotainment is Google Glass.
German automaker is apparently actively working on integrating Google Glass into its infotainment system called “Door-to-Door Navigation”.
Speaking with Wired, Head of Mercedes North American R&D Johann Jungwirth said, “We definitely see wearable devices as another trend in the industry that is important to us.” Apparently, the dour designers at Mercedes have been working with the free-spirit tech wizards at Google for the last six months to integrate Google Glass with Mercedes’ onboard infotainment.
So far, it’s been complicated. Here’s how Wired explains it: “in order for the destination information to be sent from the car to Glass, Mercedes connects to its own cloud server between the iPhone and the embedded infotainment system. Google Glass handles the communication between the two, and the trigger to communicate is the disconnection of the iPhone from the car. When that happens, it contacts the server, connects to Glass, and downloads the destination information.”
Thankfully, this system is just a work around: a proof of concept. Mercedes expects to be ready with Android integration sometime in 2014. And, when you are done connecting and disconnecting your phone to Google Glass, there are some pretty cool features. The system is capable of beaming step-by-step directions right into your eyeball, just like you were the Terminator.
Unlike the Terminator, however, when wearing your Google Glass, you might have some problems with the police. One woman was ticketed for wearing her Google Glass while driving, though it probably didn’t help matters that she was also speeding.
It isn’t yet clear whether Google Glass falls into the exception to most ‘no screen’ laws for navigation devices and heads-up displays in states outside California.
However, given that both Google and Mercedes seem to think the key to the Glass is in-car use, it is likely that they will fight hard to have this kind of use validated.
Until then, if you insist on pretending you are a cyborg with your Google Glass, please be a responsible one and obey the speed limit.