Google lobbying legislators in effort to prevent Glass driving bans


Google has been sending lobbyists to a number of US states where legislators are considering restricting the use of Glass behind the wheel.

The Mountain View company is clearly keen to act early, possibly fearing that any early legislation banning the use of Glass could snowball, with other states feeling compelled to follow suit soon after. If the new tech hits the market with driving bans across the country already in place, it could seriously diminish the appeal of the specs for some consumers.

Google is known to be lobbying legislators in at least three US states –Illinois, Delaware, and Missouri – while at least eight states across the country are looking at the possibility of restricting the use of Glass, Reuters said Tuesday.

Illinois state Senator Ira Silverstein, a Chicago Democrat who introduced a bill proposing restrictions on Glass at the end of last year, said he had met a number of Google lobbyists who were hoping to “kill” the bill.

‘It may have a place in society’

Delaware Republican Representative Joseph Miro, who is also looking to restrict the use of Glass behind the wheel, told Reuters that he wasn’t against Google’s wearable tech, and that “it may have a place in society.” He added that his primary concern is that “while you are driving, you should have nothing that is going to impede the concentration of the driver.”

When Reuters asked Google about its lobbying campaign, the Web giant responded by saying that “tech issues are a big part of current policy discussions in the US,” and that it was “important” to be involved in such discussions.

A dangerous distraction?

With Google already testing Glass in the field with its army of Explorers, it was probably only a matter of time before one of them had a run in with the authorities while testing out the device in the car. Cecilia Abadie was accused by a California cop of “driving with monitor visible to driver” last year, though the case was dismissed by a court in January.

While critics of Glass believe the wearable tech could be a dangerous distraction for drivers, with its display flashing up a potentially vast range of information, Google is likely to be arguing that far from being interfering, it could actually aid a driver, with data such as turn-by-turn navigation directions and road conditions appearing ahead of the driver’s eye, eliminating the need to look across to a conventional car navigation system or fiddle about with a smartphone.

Indeed, having tried Glass, DT’s mobile editor Jeffrey Van Camp found that it was in no way a distraction. “It sits on your face, requires virtually no physical interaction, and doesn’t block your vision,” Jeffrey said, adding, “Its screen appears to float about a yard in front of your eye, in the upper right corner of your vision. It’s not big, it moves with your head (so you can easily move it out of the way), and you can see through it.”

To date, no states have imposed restrictions on the use of Glass while driving.


Audi’s traffic light information system shows the challenges facing V2X tech

Audi’s traffic light information system is among the first commercial applications of potentially game-changing V2X tech. So how does it work in the real world? We spent a few days getting stuck at red lights to find out.

Volvo wants to use speed limiters, in-car cameras, and data to reduce crashes

Volvo believes new tech is the best way to improve car safety. The Swedish automaker will let owners set speed limits when loaning out their cars, install cameras to monitor drivers, and use data to design better safety features.
Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.

Automakers are spending billions on self-driving technology people are afraid of

Automakers are spending billions of dollars on developing the technology that will power self-driving cars, but research shows consumers have no interest in giving up control. Will they ever recoup their investment?

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.

Google hit with another fine by the EU, this time for $1.7 billion

Google has been fined for the third time by the EU, this time for breaching antitrust laws by requiring third-party websites using its search function to prioritize its ads over competitors.
Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…

Get your hands (and ears) on Apple’s new AirPods — here’s where to find them

Apple's new AirPods with wireless charging are the latest version of the much-loved wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't widely available yet. Here's where you can find them right now, and where they will show up soon.

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.

Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat may be coming soon

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.

The latest Google Doodle lets you create Bach-like music of your own

Google is celebrating the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and to that end the company has released a new Google Doodle that allows you to create Bach-like melodies and harmonies of your own.

Amazon’s new Kindle has an adjustable light and costs less than $100

Amazon has taken the wraps off of a new Kindle model, which boasts a number of great features and comes at a very affordable price. Perhaps the best thing about the new Kindle is that the device has an adjustable.