Feeds

back to article Google Glassholes to be BANNED from UK roads

UK regulators are reportedly moving forward with a plan to ensure that Google Glass users don't wear their headsets while driving, well before the controversial eyewear even reaches Blighty's shores. The gadget magazine Stuff reports that the Chocolate Factory's high-tech specs have not gone unnoticed by the UK Department for …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Silver badge

incompatible

Pop ups don't belong where you're trying to focus and avoid RL popups (children, animals, cyclists etc).

8
4

Re: incompatible

Tell it to jet pilots and IIRC some BMW drivers.

A head up display puts the image out where your focus should already be.

In principle an improvement on screens stuck tothe windscreen for navigation is possible.

11
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: incompatible

Indeed how dare someone have a responsive hud informing them of all the essential details of their task immediately in their vision where they have preset everything! Far better they be looking down at a stereo or a gps or a speedo...

Idiot.

7
12

Re: incompatible

So an app that could tell if a drivers attention is drifting away from where it should be, or that spots a driver falling asleep, or that gauges how close the vehicle in front is and how quickly the gap is closing, would automatically and by definition be bad things?

Seems a little shortsighted to me.

8
5
Bronze badge

Re: incompatible

I think what he's trying to say is that Google Glass requires you to focus on the HUD which would in effect cause a form of tunnel vision whereas any experienced driver would tell you you need awareness in as wide a view range as possible.

Also Jet pilots receive rigorous training in the use of HUDs and don't have to worry about school kids running out between parked cars.

12
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: incompatible

you don't focus on a hud in teh same way you don't focus on a steering wheel...

6
0
FAIL

Re: incompatible

Clearly you have no idea what a HUD does: it is precisely because you do worry about school kids running out between parked cars that you want to have them.

Your knowledge of the situational awareness of a pilot compared to a driver is naive: a pilot needs three dimensional awareness, while a drive typically only needs two: the school kid isn't going to pop up from the middle of the road or from the sky, by the AA missile might.

The whole point of a HUD is that it keeps the eyes looking out, and a head-mounted HUD based on something like Glass will allow drives to see their speed and (potentially) anti-collision warnings when they are distracted and looking "the wrong way".

11
7
Anonymous Coward

Re: incompatible

Reg readers are just blinded to innovation and too busy QQ'ing about new inventions, Microsoft/Apple, google invasions to the point they intentionally avoid thinking of ways new inventions may help the world.

1
9
Anonymous Coward

Re: incompatible

Jet pilots don't have Facebook, Twitter and Email alerts constantly popping up on their HUD. Or a list of all their music tracks to scroll through. Or... well you get the point.

And as for navigation in cars, personally I think vehicle manufacturers should be make it so navigation systems can't be altered when driving either, to prevent people from concentrating on finding a street name when they should be concentrating on the environment around them.

Get rid of hands-free devices as well, as the human brain isn't very good at concentrating on a phone call and driving at the same time. Anyone who's tried watching TV whilst having a conversation on the phone knows that you end up having to rewind the TV program, as you totally missed what was happening.

12
3
Bronze badge

Re: incompatible

I think that's a key point. How can anyone be sure that somebody using Google Glass is only getting vehicle information in way that has been tested and shown not to be unsafe. Pilots usually fly the same plane type for several years. I've driven five different vehicles in one day.

It does make sense to establish what laws might apply. I doubt any new laws are needed. You can have a TV running in a vehicle, but the driver must be unable to see the screen. How can you be sure Google Glass cannot break that law?

7
1

Re: incompatible

Here in the US, every factory-installed nav system that I've seen will disable input (except for voice commands) when the vehicle is moving. I guess it prevents idiots from poking at the screen at 70mph, but it's also quite annoying if you have a passenger who can work the nav system for you. Aftermarket sat navs and phone apps, of course, don't have this feature.

2
0
xyz
Bronze badge

Re: incompatible

...If GG was just a HUD it would be fine, but fighter pilots don't get Twitter, FB et al in their HUDs and that's the point. Kind of buggers Merc's idea of GGing their cars' telematics as well.

6
1
Bronze badge
Thumb Up

Re: incompatible

@Mal,

agreed. Even in the recreational aviation community keeping eyes outside is becoming an issue with all the newer electronic aids inside the cockpit. Something like Glasses which provides _essential_ information as a cost effective HUD may increase safety while permitting effective use of advanced electronics. eg FLARM, nav info.

2
3
Bronze badge

Re: incompatible

I use my phone as my sat nav. It sits next to my speedo behind my steering wheel, perfectly legally.

It can have pop-ups, sms, video, games etc. Not only that to just view it (even as a sat nav) I have to look down away from the road and change my focus from 50 metres to 50 cm and back.

Many dedicated sat navs will also bluetooth to your phone and can pop up alerts such as incoming call or text messages. Truckers have been known to have laptops open while driving, these aren't banned in themselves. Before in car tech people would sometimes try to read a map while driving.

Surely a HUD would be much more preferable to any of these?

Yes it could be abused, but the cops should just look out for driving without due care and attention (car swerving, braking late etc). If someone has a crash wearing Glass then the cops can just have a look at logcat and see what the driver was doing.

It seems short sighted to jump on a bandwagon of "let's ban it" before doing real research into whether it is more dangerous than the alternatives. The research might just show that they actually improve safety with the right apps?

6
3

Re: incompatible

@ Adrian Midgley 1

My main drive - a Citron C6, also has a HUD and it's so instinctive I find myself struggling to find the speedo in my other cars \00/ - I do feel its safer. However, my HUD (nor the ones in other Citrons, Peugots, BMWs and Audis), does not allow me to browse G+, FB, twiter, etc, nor does it alert me to new emails or relevant social network posts.

The key thing is, it is not the fact that it provides some thing useful, it's the fact google glasses will also provide lots of distractions.

2
3
Bronze badge

Re: incompatible

"My main drive - a Citron C6,"

Can't be that main a drive, because it it was, you'd know you were driving a Lemon. ("Citron" = "Lemon", "Citroen" = brand of car). ;)

--

"relevant social network posts"

I'd say that this category is pretty much empty while you are driving.

--

I'm curious, though. How well do these HUDs show up in very bright conditions?

2
0
Silver badge
Alert

Re: incompatible

"Tell it to jet pilots and IIRC some BMW drivers."

They can't use it to stream YouTube, though.

The ban is a good thing. It's already illegal to watch TV while driving and it should be just as illegal when the TV is an inch from your eyeball.

Driving is a privilege not a right and anyone who thinks it's fine to be concentrating on anything else while driving a ton of metal at the speed of a racehorse within 2 feet of squishy peds deserves to lose that privilege.

4
5
Bronze badge

Re: incompatible

"It seems short sighted to jump on a bandwagon of "let's ban it" before doing real research into whether it is more dangerous than the alternatives. The research might just show that they actually improve safety with the right apps?"

How do we know it's not Microsoft lobbying behind the scenes to get them banned until Microsoft can get their own product out that, lo and behold, will have display inhibited at more than 25 mph?

Don't forget, the Segway got legislated out of use on the public roads with all sorts of shenanigans that could only have been the result of lobbying from industries that stood to lose from widespread adoption.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Twitter, FB et al in their HUDs

o, be serious - this is a google product. It'll be targetted ads

"Having an accident? You could be due compensation!"

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: incompatible

It's not just that. The user interface isn't fully voice driven, there's a small touchpad built into the side of the device. So sliding your fingers around that means you have one hand on the wheel and are distracted.

They have no place on the head of a driver. A heads up display that is a standard feature in a car must undergo safety testing as part of the test for a vehicle. A device you stick on your head doesn't.

2
1
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

@DaLo - Re: incompatible

Wrote :- "I use my phone as my sat nav. It can have pop-ups, sms, video, games etc. Not only that to just view it (even as a sat nav) I have to look down away from the road and change my focus from 50 metres to 50 cm and back. ......... Surely a HUD would be much more preferable to any of these?"

I had a satnav before most people and have always navigated entirely by its voice directions. It is invisible to me, and I even wish I could turn the display off to make the battery last longer. I was somewhat shocked when I first saw people driving with a satnav on a bracket with the display visible. Why ??? And how could they be paying proper attention to the road if they are looking at that? It's like looking at a map while you are driving. I could not (and still cannot) understand why it is legal.

So you argument does not wash with me.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: @DaLo - incompatible

"So you argument does not wash with me."

So you would be happy for Sat Navs to be banned in the UK, just because some people look at them while driving (even if you do not).

If you don't agree then the argument that HUD technology should be banned just in case someone does something stupid, like watch a movie is even weaker.

You also must do some pretty easy routes, I've been to places where it would be total luck if the voice guidance would keep you correct. The voice hasn't had a chance to finish the one direction when the next has to interrupt it and then the next.

1
1
Bronze badge

Re: incompatible

"So sliding your fingers around that means you have one hand on the wheel and are distracted."

So ban in car stereos, gear sticks, window and sunroof openers, cigarette smoking, hazard warning buttons, heater and air-con controls or deactivate them all when moving ... etc etc

There's a big difference between doing research and working out if there is a problem, giving guidance, using existing powers ... and just jumping to a knee-jerk reaction and banning something "just in case".

Do we really want to live in a world where everything is outright banned and we have to be nannied by the government who make every decision about what is good for us and what isn't?

Look at cycle helmets. It was looked at to decide whether it should be law in Britain to wear them. The evidence showed that they undoubtedly saved lives, however the amount of lives they saved were not high enough to justify the invasion of liberty that forcing people to do something would cause. However, nearly every cyclist you see on the road wears one anyway.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: incompatible

They have no place on the head of a driver.

IMHO, you could stop that sentence after "head". I really see this whole thing as the next clusterf*ck of privacy on a global scale, a classic Google move. It's rather interesting to see people on the one hand be all upset about the NSA snooping (with which Google is associated AFAIK), yet on the other hand say "cool toy" when Google brings out something that creates uncontrolled intercept everywhere a Glasshole appears (good term BTW).

Just say no. Loudly.

1
1
Silver badge

Re: incompatible

"Do we really want to live in a world where everything is outright banned and we have to be nannied by the government who make every decision about what is good for us and what isn't?"

It's not about what's good for you: It's about those squishy flesh-bags that you're driving past.

It's ALWAYS been illegal to drive while watching TV or scoffing Marsbars carelessly. Banning Glassholes is a simple and logical extension of that. It's fine that YOU would only use it for looking at maps, but half the population are of below average IQ and will instead be playing Angry Birds and watching porn while driving, which really is not acceptable.

1
0
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: @DaLo - incompatible

DaLo wrote :- "I've been to places where it would be total luck if the voice guidance would keep you correct. The voice hasn't had a chance to finish the one direction when the next has to interrupt it and then the next."

That depends on your satnav. Mine says for example "In 200 yards turn left FOLLOWED BY [my caps] turn right", if the features are close.

As I said, I have quite an old satnav. I bought one for my wife recently, and after much research it seemed to me that they have generally got worse, not better. They have put a lot of lipstick on the display (like 3D effects, but I have no trouble reading 2D maps) but many functions my old one had, and I value, like setting up an itinery, are hard to find now or poorly implemented.

0
0

Regulation fail

And this shows why regulation and nannying control by the state doesn't work. Every time technology or society changes it has to come out with a new rule. And until then the dim witted people who have been brought up to only trust the state are at risk of causing themselves some serious harm.

It's like raising a child. The nannying state is like a parent that hovers over their kids checking everything and making sure they are bubble wrapped at all times. This is hard work for a parent, but for the state which lives and breathes on the taxes taken from its citizens it just makes its existence more meaningful and it grows.

A more responsible parent would teach their kid about the dangers in the real world and then let them learn about it from their mistakes. All the parent would do is teach them the really important stuff. This only needs to be done once and not require the parent to hover over their kid 24/7.

4
8
Anonymous Coward

Re: Regulation fail

As the article suggests there is an existing requirement that drivers are not distracted. So British law seems to have been on the ball since the first driver of a motorized conveyance tried to read a map (or book, or letters in that day's Times fulminating against the petrol-propelled nuisances now appearing in this Green & Pleasant Land)

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Regulation fail

Except any idiot can see that a well configured hud will be able to remove all but the common interference, other humans in the car.

1
3
Silver badge

Ill-conceived laws

We have exactly the same situation with the anti-cell phole laws. Here in NZ and in many other countries. Laws are written around technologies and not behaviours.

In NZ we had a law introduced that bans fiddling with your mobile phone while driving. It does not matter what you're doing: texting, calling, playing games... you'll get pinged. However the law does not apply if you do the same things with an ipod which is running exactly the same software and does everything else an iphone can do except the phone stuff.

Now some car makers are bringing out wifi access points in the cars. With these cars it will be legal to use skype over Wifi while driving, but not make a call over your cell phone. Now that is bad law!

Technologies change too fast to keep up. Most countries already have laws that forbid driving while distracted. These are surely enough to cover all bad behaviour with cellphones/glasses. Why do we need more (poorly structured) laws?

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Are you sure?

The UK law has the wording "a hand-held mobile device" - which covers several circumstances whether or not voice communication is involved.

It is still an unnecessary law though as we already had "driving without due care and attention", "careless driving" and "dangerous driving", which represent an increasing level of seriousness.

0
0
Bronze badge
Megaphone

android everywhere...

This is missing the point a bit, but the huge range of "driver attention" differences between drivers of all types, suggests a simpler solution.

Android cars couldn't come soon enough...

P.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Phones

You're supposedly not allowed to use your phone while driving either... Didn't stop some stupid prick nearly crashing in to me yesterday while he was trying to turn a corner and chat on his mob at the same time...

5
0

Re: Phones

And if he had crashed in to you the plod would have nabbed him for using a mobile phone whilst driving (3 points) Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users (3-9 points) dangerous driving (?) (3 to 11 points) so if all 3 were added that'd be a minimum of 9 points, or if the judge had just been cut up by an idiot on a phone.... a lost licence.

I guess the issue with the specs is that there is no way to really know if the glasses were doing something at the time of an accident to distract you, it may be that they were not but you were looking for an excuse "sorry your honour, my google glasses flickered something quickly which distracted my attention for just a second which resulted in the crash".

However, as a motorbikerist, if the glasses were able to see the road and detect movement and flash a red warning triangle if it detected movement coming towards you when you were about to pull out and that movement was a motorbike, I can't say I'd be against them. If however it did that but sometimes suffered from lag or people got dependant on it and didn't see the red warning triangle and pulled out in front of a motorbike then I'd be against it, so I'm guessing it's not all black and white.

4
0

Re: Phones

In Shangri-La, maybe. Meanwhile in the real world he'll probably get 3 points on his license and a fine.

Seriously.

A man was recently convicted of killing a cyclist due to his negligent driving. He got community service. What's more it wasn't even the first cyclist he'd killed with his shitty driving. And they'll probably hand his license back sooner or later to see if third time's a charm. I'm betting it wont be.

http://road.cc/content/news/82424-community-service-careless-driver-convicted-killing-second-cyclist-25-years

2
0
Stop

Re: Phones

Was going to say the same thing about "how'd that law work out with regards to mobiles?"

I saw a guy the other week using his phone (was an old Nokia or a Blackberry, something with buttons) whilst driving... his motorbike... approaching a roundabout... thankfully he didn't end up a greasy stain on the road.

2
0

Where are the jobs? Where are fair taxes for the rich and corporations?

Where are the jobs? Where are fair taxes for the rich and corporations?

Yet they waste time with this?

1
4
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Where are the jobs? Where are fair taxes for the rich and corporations?

What? So the Department for Transportation should focus on taxation now? Or creating jobs? Not on the things of which it is actually competent in, i.e. road laws?

Muppet...

3
0
JDX
Gold badge

While it very well might be the case that Google Glass is unsafe for use while driving, that doesn't mean any wearable tech is. Glass can display anything like a video or a game or your email which is not a great idea. It could also display navigation apps, monitor your alertness and even detect and warn you of potential hazards before you spot them, which are great uses.

The problem is PC Plod cannot tell which you are using it for and that is a big problem. Wearable tech should maybe have to support a "I'm driving" mode to be allowed. Glass is really a prototype, there are many details to be worked out for real life use.

5
1
Bronze badge

DfT is doing the right thing here. It doesn't matter if there are practical driving application for Google Glass as long as it is capable or at least potentially capable of impractical uses while driving such as reading email then it poses a very real risk to the safety of the driver, their passengers, other motorists and pedestrians.

5
10
Anonymous Coward

My right hand is capable of impractical (and down right dangerous) uses in a car, but I doubt you're going to cut it off.

2
3
Anonymous Coward

Best just focus ont that TV on the dashboard instead.

Yeh, no looking straight ahead for us guys.

Its just a sad shame my 50" Plasma wont also fit in the car, it would cut a smart dash.

0
0

OK Axe so how many deaths are you willing to risk in support of your argument?

1
2
Anonymous Coward

By that argument I suggest we ban driving as it's one of the biggest killers in almost all developed nations.

0
2

@AC

In which case why would the DfT want to allow something which they view as potentially leading to more deaths?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Etiology of “Glasshole” ..

“Glasshole - That know-it-all guy you've always hated, only now he's got 4G and Google+ connected to his face. Thanks Google", Startup L. Jackson, Oct 16 2012

2
1
Silver badge

Great Idea!!!

Lets ban stuff before it's even out and before anyone has any idea of whether it can improve or decrease road safety.

Bugger them scientist and their tests. We have politicians....

5
1
M7S
Bronze badge

Re: Great Idea!!! @ Thorne

"before anyone has any idea of whether it can improve or decrease road safety."

A perfectly valid point but the public road is not the place to have what would be in effect an uncontrolled experiment/trial.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Great Idea!!! @ Thorne

How do you get testing done when it's banned before it's even released?

0
0
Paris Hilton

Nobody knows the long term effects of Glass yet - drivers who used it could well be banned from driving in ten years time due to blindness for all we know - I'm sure google will have figured out how to pump tweets directly into your brain by then though!

Paris, 'cus she keeps giving me the Glass eye!

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.