Google lobbying against Glass-targeting distracted driving laws


Google is lobbying officials in at least three U.S. states to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass, marking some of the first clashes over the nascent wearable technology. Some eight U.S. states are considering regulation of Google Glass, a tiny computer screen mounted in the corner of an eyeglass frame. Law enforcement and other groups are concerned that drivers wearing the devices will pay more attention to their email than the road, causing serious accidents.

One can only hope that, thanks to this public lobbying, they will be held appropriately and proportionately responsible when the killings begin. The point, though, is that they know they can afford it.

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  1. Boy, it's a good thing the newspapers are also lobbying against those restrictive laws on reading the paper while driving, and fast food places are fighting the laws against eating while driving.

    Oh, wait. Food and newspapers are older than legislators and many voters, and so legislators don't fear either the device itself or the backlash from their constituents.

  2. If everyone would just ride in their employer-paid luxury-class coach to and from their work campus arrival center then this wouldn't be such a problem.

    Some people are just selfish, I guess.

  3. On the one hand, a screen in the corner of your vision should be no less distracting than the rear view mirror or the dashboard displays.

    On the other hand, the fact that one can't stop people from choosing to beam TV shows over, say, a more benign gps map means that statistically people will choose the dumb thing, and that the price of a mistake is much higher at 60 mph.

    My big fear, though, is that Glass is a stopgap technology with full AR being the goal. HUDs are already standard safety features in high performance vehicles and tasks, and Glass is the means by which a similar feature set will come to the general public.

    In many ways, I see future versions of Glass being more safe than driving unaugmented and I would hate to see knee jerk political grandstanding keep that future from coming, especially given the paucity of data.

  4. Counterpoint: You want to require people to take off their glasses while driving. That's real fucking smart. Yes, there are people who need corrective lenses who saved up for Google Glass (or got it as a gift) but don't have the ready cash for a second pair of lenses and frames. You can hem and haw about how those people are silly all you want, but they still exist, and it's ridiculous to pass laws requiring them to purchase a second pair on their own dime and have to keep track of both.

    Also, I would not have expected Boing Boing to be in favor of passing laws against people who kind of look like they might be thinking about committing a crime. Letting the cops hassle people for wearing Glass in their car is not that far from hassling teens for wearing trenchcoats in public.

    We've already seen, from several high-profile cell-related accidents, that prosecutors are quite capable of pulling your cell records, determining that you were texting at the time of the crash, and dropping the hammer. I much prefer that to this pre-crime bullshit. How much liberty are we willing to exchange for safety?

  5. Counter-Counterpoint. Tell me, what were these advanced tec-loving paupers wearing to see with while they scrimped & saved? Was it... something else? But Nah Naw, demands they be responsible enough to use the purchase responsibly are cruel, for they are poor, poor people & probably need that money to buy food. Are you trying to legislate hunger!?

    Also, If we aren't going to legislate against teenagers pulling their trenchcoats over their eyes while driving, we can't support this either! Hold on, hold on, I'm getting a text.. so you say that is already illegal. hmm.

    I say I say, let the blood flow. A large cash settlement is far more appreciated than an arm, of which you have two, one to spare, or a child, of which you can make more. Let us decide After the fact of the harm, how to punish and compensate the injured and bereaved, acting in advance of the harm is foolish! Foolish. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to drink at least a fifth of vodka before I can be comfortable with my autonomy while driving.

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