back to article Google Glassholes, GET OFF our ROADS, thunder lawmakers in seven US states

Seven US states are looking into banning wearable computers like Google Glass while driving, shortly after a high-profile court case in California where a Glasshole got off scot-free. Cecilia Abadie was stopped and cited for wearing her Google Glass but was later let off the ticket because of a lack of proof that the specs were …

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HUD?

However, if done properly, this could be a less distracting sat nav app as you don't have to look away from the road to look at or (god forbid) interact with a device on your dash board.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HUD?

HUDs don't usually have rich graphics or media content and certainly don't have cat videos.

HUDs are ultra basic, the bare minimum information possible and (short of the card which show a small speedo discreetly on the windscreen screen) usually come with rather a lot of training.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HUD?

A sat nav device has voice guidance and is a single use device.

It doesn't display your text messages, email or Youtube.

When drafting laws it is a case of LCD, lowest common denominator. For every 99 sensible law abiding people there will be 1 who does something idiotic killing people. Most safety laws are aimed at these sort of pillocks.

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How about dashboard mounts for cell phones?

Are those allowed? If anything, they'd be more distracting...

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Re: HUD? - modern satnavs

There is at least one BMW motorcycle which comes with a SatNav which is integrated with the rest of the electronics and if you get a low fuel alert it pop-up the route to a petrol station......but does that count as a safety feature, a distraction or just useful info?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HUD?

In theory great, in practice idiots will use them to watch videos while walking or driving or cycling..

I would love a HUD for when I drive, but really I would not wear google glass as it looks like crap, when they get to the style of expensive sunglasses then I'll buy them...

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Re: HUD? - modern satnavs

For the BMW that would be a safety measure since keeping a car with sufficient fuel is a legal responsibility for drivers in Germany. It's actually a traffic offense to get stranded on the Autobahn by, say, running out of gas.

As for the idea of a HUD in general, consider the possibility of an AR driving HUD, projecting lane guidance or other things that blur the line between distraction and useful information.

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Anonymous Coward

Ban

Banning the use of mobile phones did not stop the use of them in cars.

Banning Google glass while driving will not stop them being worn.

Just a matter of time before someone is convicted of death by dangerous driving wearing them, common sense tells us it is a distraction which also can cause focus problems in one eye. It amazes me how many people are in Denial of this.

Banning them is one thing, enforcement is another.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HUD?

"I would love a HUD for when I drive, but really I would not wear google glass as it looks like crap, when they get to the style of expensive sunglasses then I'll buy them..."

Lame!

You'd still be wearing expensive crap!

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Re: HUD? - modern satnavs Unttil some cracker breaks in

And draws lanes heading into the sky, with the car's annunciator commanding, "Pull UP! Pull UP! Pull UPPPP!" to the background sound of "ngonk-ngonk-ngonk-ngonk.... Maybe some cars will start to get haptic feeback? (Especially useful to get the attention of sleeping or distracted motorists.)

People have been steered into the woods, onto railroad tracks, off of piers, and off road edges. Haven't yet heard of Apache Longbow Virus hitting motorists yet, though...

Reminds me of that Tayuxuz ayukssent in traynin mohd. "Nha, luuk intu the Eye-Hadds, and follow the payuth.... Pool ohn the kullektive and clymb to fhivv thasand feet..." Zoom up to 10,000 andd he then admonishes "Yoo gohn too fahrrr!" hahahaha. Best part, EVER, on Longbow... "Yoo gohn too fahrrr!"

BTW, I grew up in Texas fer 10 years, and I think I have some lahteetood to cunvay this anekdoat...

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FAIL

Re: HUD? - modern satnavs Unttil some cracker breaks in

People have been steered into the woods, onto railroad tracks, off of piers, and off road edges.

You forgot airport runways.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24246646

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Re: HUD? - modern satnavs

Sorry, the fuel gauge isn't enough to know how much fuel is in your car? Christ-on-a-bike, rolling out justifications for idiots to blame others for them running out of fuel is just stupid.

Unless the car is also fitted with a fuel gauge that tells the car that it MUST stop at the next possible fuel stop which would be sensible if being law abiding is important to you.

And so then it is probably best to give Google control of the car for best fuel efficiency on your route, as it can take into account which petrol stations on the route will be cheapest.

Which might lead to a world where poor/speedy drivers are at fault because they didn't have the GoogleShauff (because the US probably won't accept the "eur" - even considering their history/heritage) enabled when accidents occur and those in GoogleShauff controlled cars arrive safely and optimally speedily after spending time working or relaxing depending upon the reason for the journey.

Seriously, is that not a better world?

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Re: HUD? - modern satnavs

"..my driving in London has become much safer with the satnav.."

I wish I could say the same about driving in Sydney. My phone navigator is fine, but the one in the car has an awful tendency, in the inner suburbs, to assume it's on the road parallel to the one it's actually in.

"At the traffic lights, turn right" becomes "WHAT traffic lights? Those? But that's a pedestrian crossing! There's no turn! And I'm here in the right hand lane with my blinker going! Should I turn into that school?", all while the GPS is yelling "Turn Right! Turn Right! In 500 metres perform a U turn" at me.

Not sure whether it's not enough satellites or too many streets.

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Re: HUD?

It's a few years ago now, but I think Jaguar had a proper HUD system for use in fog that used radar (or lidar) at a frequency unaffected by the fog and projected an image onto the inside of the windscreen to show what was outside. I'm not sure if it was on 1st April though. Having said that, GM is working on such a system based on this Wired article from 2010

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/03/gm-next-gen-heads-up-display/

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Re: HUD? - modern satnavs

The law is clear on this, as verified in a recent case where a driver ran a junction because it was not on his satnav and killed cyclist. The judge ruled that satnav are an aid therefore full responsibility lies with the driver to be aware of his surrondings

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Re: HUD?

Son: "Mom, are you watching your speed with your Google Glasses?"

Mom: "Oh son, you're such a tech head. I don't need all that silly driving stuff when I'm only driving you to football practice. I'm watching a new cat video, and you should see the cute boy on a bicycle in it."

Son: "Mom, that's a real boy and you're about to... nooooo!"

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Re: Ban

Banning Google glass while driving will not stop them being worn.

No, but it turns them into a new progressive tax regime, targeting the rich and stupid. I'm OK with that.

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Anonymous Coward

Where's the Google Lobbying

otherwise known as 'Campaign Contributions' to these senators?

Or could this just be a ploy by them to get a few $$$ from the Chocolate Factory?

cynical moi? You bet.

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Re: Where's the Google Lobbying

Did you notice that Google is now starting to get involved w the Republican party?

Its the Democrats who want a nanny state. They are the ones who are banning these devices.

But you may be right...

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So does this ban smart-watches?

Smart watches are wearable computers... and they are visible to the driver while driving.

Hmm....

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Def
Bronze badge

Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

Presumably the ban will only apply to wearable computers that obstruct your vision, reduce your hearing, impede your movement, or reduce your ability to shout obscenities at other drivers.

So computers stuffed up your nose will also be okay. :)

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Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

In the UK, the law specifies mobile phones, but there's also the catch-all of driving without due care and attention. Not sure if we'd need a specific law or not.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

The reason that the law for mobiles was brought in was due to the amount of people trying to prove that they weren't "driving without due care and attention" taking up far too much court time and never winning. So, for wearable computers, such as GG, I'd suspect a specific law, or modification to the mobiles law would be required.

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Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

We have the same "without due care and attention" law in Canada, but the police complain that it is too hard to prove in the courts. It now appears that police want laws that are specific and easier to prove if broken, such as "using a cell phone while driving".

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Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

Whether we need a law or not, we'll probably get one. Blair started banning things that were already banned and the current lot continue to do so.

Somehting to do with being seen to do someting.

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Big Brother

Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

The Tories seem to be going the same way, if we don't understand it, lets ban it...

1984 is coming just a little later than planned

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Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

I'd have thought it's easy enough to prove 'driving without due care and attention' - it just takes an observation by the police officer of the accused doing something unsafe. The specific reason why the unsafe behaviour occurred is surely less important for safety than the behaviour itself, which I guess is part of the reason for the catch-all law in the first place.

In short, if there's no evidence of unsafe behaviour, there's no need to take action for safety reasons.

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Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

"In short, if there's no evidence of unsafe behaviour, there's no need to take action for safety reasons."

But what is "unsafe behaviour" You can text while driving most of the time, it's not until a driver ahead slows down, or a light turns red that you get in trouble. But just because you can get away with it most of the time is no excuse. You ban texting while driving to improve safety, 'driving without due care and attention' is a punishment after something bad has already happened.

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@photobod

You must implicitly trust the police to be OK with a catch all law like that which is totally up to the officer's judgement. If the cop doesn't like you, they can claim you were driving without undue care and issue you a ticket.

Unless you're swerving all over the road, the proof that you were driving without undue care and attention typically consists of the fact someone in front of you rear ending the car in front of you.

The other thing making a law that specifically bans a certain activity while driving is that it makes it easier for the victim to sue the guy who injured him. If wearing Glasses at all is illegal, it is easy to prove. If you have to prove they were actually in use at the time, the bar is a lot higher.

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Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

I am not a hunter myself, but I seem to recall a Canadian hunting law which stated that if you were caught in the woods (or where ever) with a gun outside of hunting season, that gun was considered sufficient proof that you were hunting illegally, resulting in the confiscation of all your hunting gear, including your vehicle and all its contents. As if that weren't disincentive enough, you still had to stand before a judge and accept any additional punishment he meted out to you. All in all, pretty harsh.

Now I'm not proposing that they take your car,(although they love doing that with alleged drug offenders, and just try to get your car back after being acquitted, a subject well covered by national tv documentaries filmed in Louisiana, revealing how local parishes make a career out of siezing poor peoples cars and selling them),but common sense tells me that if the law allows the public to get away with claiming that, yes, they were wearing Google Glasses, prescription or not, but no they weren't turned on, then the law is an ass, pardon my french.

If I'm an arresting officer, don't tell me you need a fifteen hundred dollar pair of prescription glasses with internet video feed (actually even more with the prescription option) to drive when I know that virtually every prescription wearer out there,(especially drivers), has multiple spares lying around somewhere. By the way, where are the prescriptions you had before you became a Glasshole? Keep a spare in your glove box, or your cup holder, or locking console between the seats, or in one of those eyeglass holders that they sell to stick on your dash to hold your sunglasses. Keep a pair in every vehicle you drive, if you can afford prescription Google Glasses, then you can afford a spare pair of glasses for your vehicle. That goes doubly so if you can afford to drive more than one vehicle. grrrr

Long story short, you are caught driving wearing Google Glasses, that is sufficient proof that they were turned on. Let the law err on the side of public safety, supposed or not.

Now i feel better. I had to get that off my chest, ahhhhh

ps. I wish I had a pair of Google Glasses to play around with, just not to drive with.

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Re: So does this ban smart-watches?

> So computers stuffed up your nose will also be okay. :)

But do people (Golgafrinchans) want computers that can be fitted nasally?

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"Too often the law is years behind technology and we have to catch up"

What? By banning it without even so much as a sniff of an investigation into whether it affects driver safety? That doesn't sound like catching up with technology to me, more like running away from it as fast as you can.

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Anonymous Coward

Or - making something which is of seriously questionable safety illigal until such a time as it's proven to be safe.

I'd rather that approach than yours.

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Right, so you never would have legalized cars in the first place then?

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Anonymous Coward

You mean the cars which were required to have a red flag carried in front of them for some time, before they were shown to be safe?

Yep, I would have approved of them, once they had been shown to be safe.

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"Or - making something which is of seriously questionable safety illigal until such a time as it's proven to be safe.

I'd rather that approach than yours."

That's a total assumption based on no facts what so ever. Have you ever worn a pair of Google Glasses? do you know how well you can see through the information? If people followed your lead we would all be sat in our caves freezing and starving to death cause no one had yet proven that lighting a fire was safe.

"ou mean the cars which were required to have a red flag carried in front of them for some time, before they were shown to be safe?

Yep, I would have approved of them, once they had been shown to be safe."

So you think that all cars built after 1896 are safe? Christ, I think I need to start buying shares in Virgin Galatic to get away from nutters like you. Happy to believe what ever the government tells them is the truth without even looking into the facts.

Cars with an ICE came to England in 1896, the same year the Locomotive Acts was changed. The Red Flag rule was used for the steam cars, which were basically small trains on the road, and have about as much in common with cars as we know them as the orient express.

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@ AC 13:11

That's the excuse used for pretty much every bad law ever made.

Now that's what I call seriously questionable, so how about we outlaw lawmaking until that is proven safe.

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Hmm,

I could imagine making computerized goggles (google-goggles? (sorry)) which include night-vision, and which might assist the driver in paying better attention to dangers. It would be a shame to oust those. A HUD could be used for this as well, of course.

Banning ALL wearable computers sound a bit knee-jerk to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm,

Until such time that there is a radio signal sent out to such devices from your car preventing them from running anything other than navigational apps then they have to be banned.

Of course, such restrictions will always be "cracked" by some idiot who finds driving boring and wants to watch Breaking Bad resulting in Braking Bad.

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Re: Hmm,

Fair enough, there should be strong safeguards.

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Re: Hmm,

Ordinarily your eyes are focussed on a point outside of the vehicle, perhaps looking 30 or more feet away. Having a mini cinema inches away from your eyeball not only requires you alter your focus, but also obscures what you are seeing for real outside.

I don't see it being at all safe or practical because it would completely screw with your visual perception and reaction times.

Aircraft HUDs attempt to solve this by using collimated rays of light which are essentially parallel so the pilot can see the image regardless of their focus. Perhaps something like that is possible but certainly not any time soon.

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Re: Hmm,

This depends on the optics used. HUD and similar systems can produce images at infinity. HUD are considered safer than using the dashboard in Mach 2 fighters, it should be safer on the road, in principle. The Google glass display is well inside the 20-25cm near focus of most people, so it must use a similar "focus at infinity" optical solution as well.

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Pint

Re: Hmm,

" I could imagine making computerized goggles (google-goggles? (sorry)) which include night-vision, and which might assist the driver in paying better attention to dangers. It would be a shame to oust those. A HUD could be used for this as well, of course.

Banning ALL wearable computers sound a bit knee-jerk to me."

I'm pretty sure an FLIR-type thing is (or was) available on high-end Cadillacs. The commercials for them seemed to imply that the image was projected to the windshield (or maybe a combining glass) in a way to superpose it on the driver's eyeball view of the (initially not visible) object or pedestrian. Something like that, to me would be a fantastic application for something like Google Glass plus an eyeball tracker in the car. I can also see something that, for instance, puts a colored dot or arrow into the driver's view of the correct exit in a complicated upcoming interchange. (Think American football TV yard-marker technology) Stuff like that goes beyond simple HUD capabilities, I would think, and sort of requires both head-mounted display, and some on-the-fly computation capabilities.

I don't want idiots watching cat videos while they drive, but I don't want legislatures to cut off very promising innovative routes to more safety, either. I hope they are very careful about the laws they are crafting. (but, sadly, I don't have much confidence in them).

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Re: Hmm, Heist Edition...

Then, as in Caprica, there will be hacked/modded versions to facilate perverted entertainment or illegally enhance an ability to commit and get away with crimes.

Imagine a Heisst Edition of wearbable computers and glasses. And, now, considering talk of "bullet proof clipboards and backpacks" for students, imagine a robber knowing at all times the positions of bang guards, key holders, tellers, and more by clandestinely scanning the interior a few minutes and adding that to earlier, pre-rehearsal exercises.

Of course, google glass tech might help some surgeons, mechanics, and others who need to fall back into an "instruction" mode to avert mishaps or breakages during complex procedures.

Maybe there'll be a "Bifocal/Trifocal" edition? How long before we see GGO -- Google Global Optical as a ticker symbol?

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Re: Hmm,

No offense but, speaking of knee-jerk...

Neither of the two latest bills, from Wyoming (PDF) and Missouri, ban ALL wearable computers and it's likely that each State is making a mess of incompatible rules some of which will be fuzzy and have loopholes large enough to drive a train through.

The Wyoming bill is actually pointless since it states:

No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public street or highway while using a wearable computer with head mounted display...

so it leaves it open to interpretation as to what "using" means since wearing isn't necessarily using and a judge in Wyoming may disagree with the California judge on whether "using" requires proof the device was either on or off. Indeed, one could be wearing such a device where the display is positioned behind the head for the rear seat passenger to use. Missouri is a more concise while not mentioning computers at all presumably because one could be using an old school film projector:

No person shall operate or wear a head-mounted display while operating a moving motor vehicle upon the highways of this state. For the purposes of this section, “head-mounted display” means a display device worn on the head or as part of a helmet that has a small display optic in front of one or each eye.

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Re: Hmm,

So in Missouri the law will affect wearers of bifocal prescription spectacles, because the small display optic at the bottom of the lens displays the dashboard?

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Re: Hmm,

Anyone who thinks glass can be worn safely while driving I set you this challenge, focus on the glass of your windscreen (not out side it- the actual glass) next time your driving...

now imagine the person behind you on the motorway, driving a little to close, is doing the same thing.. Feel safe?

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Anonymous Coward

When driving, the road is in the center of your vision

the info in glass is not, therefore if you pay attention to glass info, you are not paying attention to the road.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: When driving, the road is in the center of your vision

Doesn't the same apply to the speedometer? What about rearview mirrors? Or looking over shoulder before pullng out?

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