back to article Google Glass driver told she CAN wear techno-specs while on the road

It's safe to wear Google Glass behind the wheel after a California court struck down a woman's traffic citation – which was issued by a highway patrolman for wearing the head-mounted computer. Cecilia Abadie wearing Google Glass Cecilia Abadie and her lawyer meet the media after beating the rap (Credit: San Diego Union …

COMMENTS

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  1. Gray Ham

    Next time ...

    Maybe the cops will be waiting outside with a ticket for "driving with obstructed vision".

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Next time ...

      "Maybe the cops will be waiting outside with a ticket for "driving with obstructed vision"."

      They are glasses, with stuff on the outside. They aren't obstructive.

      1. Gray Ham

        Re: Next time ...

        Here (In Australia) at least, "obstructed vision" applies to anything that gets in the way or can distract you, including GPS, things dangling from your rearview mirror, etc, etc.

        If a cop is grumpy and you give a bit of lip, you can get a ticket for a dangling rosary. I'm sure some cops would be quite happy to test out whether the side-bar of a google glass would be a large enough obstruction to your peripheral vision to justify a ticket.

      2. MrXavia

        Re: Next time ...

        "They are glasses, with stuff on the outside. They aren't obstructive."

        LOOK at them, a big bar down the right hand side of the glasses.. that WILL impede your peripheral vision, the same way a thick pair of glasses would, and I would expect the police to test the eyesight of someone wearing anything that might impede their vision...

        1. Nigel 11

          Re: Next time ...

          LOOK at them, a big bar down the right hand side of the glasses.. that WILL impede your peripheral vision,

          Careful ... do you want to create a significant minority who are banned from driving? Some people don't have peripheral vision. They may need to wear very strong corrective lenses, which can correct only what's in front of them not what's to the side. Or they may have had certain eye diseases which have destroyed or damaged their peripheral vision before diagnosis and (in some cases) cure.

          You'd also have to ban motor-cycles, since it's not legal to ride one without a helmet and helmets cut your peripheral vision.

          It present (in the UK at least) peripheral vision is not a requirement for driving. Be careful what you wish!

          1. The First Dave

            Re: Next time ...

            If it stops motorcycles from weaving down the white line when the other traffic is "only" doing 65mph then fine, make helmets illegal

            1. M Gale

              Re: Next time ...

              If it stops motorcycles from weaving down the white line when the other traffic is "only" doing 65mph then fine, make helmets illegal

              I get the feeling that you're exaggerating.

              Don't get envious of the legal ability of motorbike riders to filter. Get a motorbike, and take advantage.

              1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

                @M Gale

                He isn't exaggerating. Here in SoCal I see it regularly. Sure there is a lot of filtering forward which is usually fine but I think he is talking about what often happens on the freeway when traffic, while heavy, is flowing quite well, meaning 60 mph or so, and you get a yahoo or two on their sport bikes whitelining at 90 mph or more which is already illegal because of the speed. Fortunately CA finally, just this month, put out some guidelines on the subject and I feel it's because it seems more people have been filtering forward through stopped surface street traffic at quite high speeds recently.

              2. The First Dave

                Re: Next time ...

                Perhaps you need to learn what "filtering" actually means.

          2. Mike Taylor

            Re: Next time ...

            There is a definition of a requirement for peripheral vision in the UK, 85° unless I've remembered it wrong

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Next time ...

            I'm not sure my helmet does restrict my vision, at least not at an angle I can normally see.

        2. Goopy

          Re: Next time ...

          Nope, I wear them, it doesnt block periph, dont even see it.

    2. Donn Bly

      Re: Next time ...

      They could try - but since the whole point of the Google Glass is that it *doesn't* obstruct your vision such a claim would fall under "knowingly and willfully making a false affidavit to the court under oath" - in short: perjury.

      1. 's water music Silver badge

        Re: Next time ...

        > They could try - but since the whole point of the Google Glass is that it *doesn't* obstruct your vision such a claim would fall under "knowingly and willfully making a false affidavit to the court under oath" - in short: perjury.

        Yeah, because courts /always/ get the cops when they do that

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      But doesn't she look like a plonker wearing them, they are an offence to fashion. Maybe there is a ticket for that.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Next time ...

      They do I indeed look as though the restrict peripheral vision, all they need is a death due to distraction, that'll change the law, but a sacrifice will be needed.

      1. frank ly

        Re: Next time ...

        The 'side bar' or 'arm' of many fashion glasses can be quite big and chunky, so that would be lots of scope for grumpy traffic cops.

        1. John Sturdy
          Boffin

          Re: Next time ...

          But as the driver's head moves, and as the vehicle moves, things which were behind the side bar will become visible; I doubt that obstacles and other road users will remain entirely hidden behind the sidebar for more than a fraction of a second.

          1. Goopy

            Re: Next time ...

            This does not happen when the googles are in motion above 3 mph, they shut off all visual.

        2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          It's California

          The land of infinite regulation so naturally, there's a law for that:

          V C Section 23120 Temple Width of Glasses

          23120. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while wearing glasses having a temple width of one-half inch or more if any part of such temple extends below the horizontal center of the lens so as to interfere with lateral vision.

          Not sure it would apply to Glass since technically Glass ain't glasses. Fret not ye subjects of Kali Cali, I'm sure there is some politician diligently working on the problem*.

          *The problem being how to maximize Google's campaign contribution.

    5. Goopy

      Re: Next time ...

      Nooooo, specifically the judge said as it was NOT on, then there was NO obstruction - that would be equal to not letting anyone wear prescription glasses or sunglasses!

    6. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Boffin

      Truly a glasshole

      She got lucky.

      Lets be clear...

      The judge threw the case out because there was no evidence to show that the glasses were activated while she was driving. In fact, if memory serves, she maintained that she was wearing them while they were turned off. Since there are no prescriptive lenses, she is truly a glasshole for wearing them. (If not functioning, then its a 'fashion statement' which would make her a glasshole.)

  2. MrDamage

    What bollocks

    "“driving with a monitor visible in violation of California Vehicle Code 27602” didn’t apply to his client since the law was passed before Google Glass was available."

    Thats like saying hacking laws are invalid because they were written well before any of the current generation of OS releases's flaws were known. Just because the device is "new", it does not give the owner the right to breach the law.

    "Glass is built to connect you more with the world around you, not distract you from it,"

    Bullshit. The more information you plaster on the glass to "connect" people to the world, the more attention they have to pay to the device, and not to the road and road users around them. People do not have an infinite amount of attention, so they should be dedicating it to the task at hand, and not be distracted by google goggles.

    1. mrmond

      Re: What bollocks

      Distracted by what ? They were turned off.

      1. ratfox Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        What about mounted cell phones?

        You can buy mounts for holding your cell phone on the dashboard. Of course, you're supposed to use them as GPS and not to watch YouTube while driving. But I wonder whether this law applies to them.

    2. RISC OS

      Re: What bollocks

      This is bad... the police won't know it is on until they stop someone, and then they will just turn it off. Police will get charged and just worn't stop anyone...

      And what will happen when she runs some kid over because she is too busy twittering with her eyeballs? 3 months driviong ban and 200 hours commuity service - suspended - probably

      This is stupid ruling, should be no different then letting someone drive while using their smartphone.

      1. Nigel 11

        Re: What bollocks

        This is bad... the police won't know it is on until they stop someone, and then they will just turn it off. Police will get charged and just worn't stop anyone.

        You mean like drivers who were texting or otherwise playing with their mobile, who turn it off just after they've killed someone?

        If necessary, mandate that Google glasses and suchlike maintain an activity log, and that the police are entitled to check that log. Like mobile phones do, and the police can.

        A time will probably come when N'th generation Google glasses will be good enough to provide full augmented reality, and it will then become safer to have your car's instrumentation relayed into your field of forward vision, than to have to take your eyes off the road to (for example) check your speed. Likewise traffic warnings, which if displayed on roadside devices can be missed due to (say) a high-sided vehicle on your nearside. At that future time, I imagine a certification process will be required, to separate the products of adequate quality from the cheap toys. Some decades later, they may even become compulsory.

        1. Benchops

          No need for logs

          The NSA will be streaming the pictures live

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: What bollocks

        This is bad... the police won't know it is on until they stop someone, and then they will just turn it off. Police will get charged and just worn't stop anyone..

        Subpoena to mobile phone company, did Glass have a data context active at the time of stopping. Yes it did. Did the driver turn it off. Yes he/she did - when a phone battery is embedded there is no way to "abruptly" take it off the network. It will actually perform sign-off so this has to be deliberate action by the user.

        So, right my dear, here is your driving ban, 6 points on the licence and a year in chokey for "perverting the course of justice".

        By the way, this is being done regularly for any case where there is a reasonable suspicion that the phone may have been a cause of an accident today. Mobile networks handle thousands of these requests a week nowdays. There are police forces that do it "by default" for every accident just in case.

        Alternatively - subpoena to Google. They are obliged to cooperate in this case. If they have to provide police with full information with regards to anything where a glasshole has been involved they may end up actually rethinking the product... (yeah, I know - two teaspoons of wishful thinking).

        1. SDoradus

          Re: What bollocks

          It's a mistake to treat Glass legally as though it's a mobile phone. There's no technical reason Glass or similar competing products have to be connected to the cloud to operate. Video recording data could be dumped to local storage via bluetooth, for example. Under such circumstances getting a subpoena for the device's cloud data context will yield nothing.

          More importantly, even if the device is on and recording, that doesn't mean it will be distracting the driver. If just a video is being made it's not different from a motorcycle or car helmetcam or dashcam, legally speaking, except for one thing; the data context would count as a business record for the purpose of the hearsay rule. In other words it could be produced in court by the defendant, not the police, to prove that her usage was innocent (and, if she was recording video including the speedometer, that she was not speeding).

      3. Goopy

        Re: What bollocks

        y r u and almost countless, clueless talking about glass, as if u had ever worn them? U dont know how they work, I use them, so shut up already.

        1. Trevor Marron

          @ Goopy

          I am not sure that Google should even be letting an eight year old trial them.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: What bollocks

          "y r u and almost countless, clueless talking about glass, as if u had ever worn them? U dont know how they work, I use them, so shut up already."

          You obviously need a lot more practice at typing with your eyeballs. You're no where near to being 1337 yet.

          1. Fatman Silver badge
            WTF?

            RE: Re: What bollocks

            Don't feel too bad, you just encountered one of those 140 character challenged individuals.

    3. ravenviz

      Re: What bollocks

      What about HUD's then, they definitley obstruct, or at least distract vision, and they're allowed?

    4. SDoradus

      Re: What bollocks

      No. The point is that in common-law systems it is assumed that laws need to be re-interpreted in the light of new developments. That's why case law is allowed to set 'precedent' which can overturn earlier 'precedent' or statutory interpretation.

      As for Glass being distracting, 'connecting with the world' doesn't just mean giving the wearer real-time information about the world. It can also mean streaming to others or recording, neither of which involve distracting the wearer.

      The real reason police would be unhappy for things like Glass to become common is that it would give the world information about police misconduct. It's only a matter of time before a Glass recording is used to prove that the police version of events during an arrest is false. It could, for example, have been used to disprove the allegation that the wearer was going 85mph in a 60mph zone.

  3. Thorne

    Clearly the cop was corrupt

    "Abadie also beat the speeding ticket he gave her for driving at 85 miles per hour in her Prius because of lack of evidence."

    A prius capable of doing 85mph? Clearly the cop lied.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clearly the cop was corrupt

      Downhill, tailwind and she just passed gas?

    2. fafa1971
      Devil

      Re: Clearly the cop was corrupt

      As a Prius owner, I could not agree more: in Economy Mode I find it difficult to get to 70 mph on a motorway.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clearly the cop was corrupt

        On German motorways I've driven mine (a 2010 Prius fully loaded with wife and kids) at 100 mph (160 km/h as measured by the gps). I wanted to see if it could go faster, but the wife was already complaining, so I kept at that speed. I must say that in "power" mode it handles those speeds better than I expected. Of course, suddenly it is spending almost double the normal fuel consumption, but who cares...

        1. ravenviz

          Re: Clearly the cop was corrupt

          (a 2010 Prius fully loaded with wife and kids) at 100 mph

          Careful now!

          1. SDoradus

            Re: Clearly the cop was corrupt

            He's safe. German autobahnen don't have speed limits in the UK sense.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Autobahn speed limits

              I thought it was common knowledge that some parts of some German autobahns had no speed limits. It is a typical tourist attraction for young males from neighbouring countries. Just remember that where there is a speed limit you'd better drive at a speed under it, the fines are rather high!

        2. Goopy

          Re: Clearly the cop was corrupt

          What IS the German equivelant of the US DCFS? CALL THEM NOW.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Clearly the cop was corrupt

          "2010 Prius fully loaded with wife and kids) at 100 mph... Of course, suddenly it is spending almost double the normal fuel consumption, but who cares..."

          I sooo hope the irony was intentional ;-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Happy

            Re: Clearly the cop was corrupt

            It was a small attempt at irony, yes. Not all Prius owners are anal retentive fuel savers (at least I hope).

            I bought mine more mostly for overall comfort, but above all the great transmission/gear box, which makes it the less stressing car I've done 10+ hour drives in. I just wish I could have afforded the radar controlled cruise control. The missus loving the car had nothing to do with my choice, I swear!

            Of course, as the kids grow up I am thinking that investing on some kind of separation partition between front and back seats (fully audio isolated, of course) would have been a wiser choice.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe after she gets a few tickets for wearing them while driving, she won't anymore. She beat one ticket, but she still had to pay an attorney.

    That still won't stop the state from revising a law making wearing them while driving illegal.

    1. Steve Brooks

      So you get google to build them into your prescription lenses, so then it's illegal to drive with them, and illegal to drive without them, nooo a paradox the world is ending!!! Nah just joking the world isn't en.........

      1. RichardPH

        Dunno if you're in the UK, but here you can pretty much drive with uncorrected eyesight with impunity.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/10558737/Short-sighted-motorist-who-mowed-down-and-killed-dog-walker-given-140-hours-community-serviceohammed-Rashid.html

    2. Goopy

      Google paid her legal fees, come on!

  5. Old Handle

    What a wonderfully ambiguous statement

    "Glass is built to connect you more with the world around you, not distract you from it," a Google spokesman told El Reg in a statement.
    Does this mean "Google Glass will not distract you" or "If you let Google Glass distract you, you're using it wrong"? Or both? Or perhaps nothing at all.

  6. Steve Knox
    WTF?

    Huh?

    Abadie's lawyer had argued in court that the regulation cited, “driving with a monitor visible in violation of California Vehicle Code 27602” didn’t apply to his client since the law was passed before Google Glass was available.

    Ex pre facto?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huh?

      That is like saying the laws regarding murder do not apply as the person I stabbed 20 times for the hell of it was not born at the time the law was passed

      1. Greg D

        Re: Huh?

        No it's nothing like that at all.

        Murder is defined by the killing of a man. Driving with a 'monitor' visible (like a mobile phone in your hand etc) cannot be applied in the case of google glass.

        a) it was switched off

        b) its an augmentation of your vision, not a all-out dedicated monitor in the sense defined in the law.

        You are an arse for even comparing the two.

        1. ravenviz
          Joke

          Re: Huh?

          Murder is defined by the killing of a man

          Or woman.

          /montpython

          1. John Bailey

            Re: Huh?

            Damn.. Now you tell me..

            "Darling.. Have you drunk that coffee yet.. "

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Huh? Re: “driving with a monitor visible .."

          Obviously didn't get a patient attorney to advise them, otherwise they would know that 'monitor' is just a label for a dynamic display intended to be viewed by the human eye! Google Glasses are simply a monitor that has been repackaged so that you can see through it.

          If this stands I can see people using the argument "the patent doesn't apply as it was issued before xyz was available", where patents have been written with the intent of being 'future proof'.

  7. Schultz Silver badge

    So that's what Google glasses look like...

    I never saw them in the wild and somehow the PR picture made the wearer look much cooler.

  8. dssf

    Prius can go up to 106 MPH, and depending on tires, faster.

    Per JD Powers and another site, Prius definitely goes faster than 85 mph:

    http://autos.jdpower.com/content/article-auto/EMOmip3/5-fast-facts-about-the-2013-toyota-prius.htm

    http://priuschat.com/threads/max-speed-of-prius.2419/

    As for the cop losing the ticket issuance due to lack of evidence, that is going to be bad on his career.

    Usually, cop cars these days (depending on the agency, crime rates, budgets, size of force vehicles, and so on) will have clocking/radar equipment, dash-cams, and maybe both. SF and other large cities also sport two or more types of police cruiser as well as parking meter Police Interceptor III three-wheelers, and regular Ford Aerostar-type van-mounted cameras (not all on the same unit, but I've seen 2 or 3 various types of ugly to nearly clandestinely-mounted cameras that hunt for ticket scofflaws and stolen vehicles parked on public streets), and maybe he lost the ticket if his cruiser was not equipped with any kind of cams. But, if he were creative, being a professionally-trained high-speed-pursuit driver capable of using the car or officer-mounted communications gear while driving super fast, he could have whipped out (if he had one, and likely he does) his mobile and intermittently scanned his speedometer between frames of the Prius on the go.

    If he forgot to turn on any existting cameras, he's going to look like a rookie, but IIUC, rookies might not be elegible to drive alone without getting their supervisors to sign off.

    OnStar and other packages can also exonerate innocent drivers, too, against bogus tickets.

    (Interjecting anecdote:

    Don't anyone say bogus tix are never issued. I've had 2 or 3 against me, and one was just an excuse for a senior CHP to give rookie CHP an opportunity for a citation, or to teach him how to be opportunistically abusive. After all, the 2AM highway was devoid of traffic ahead of me for around a mile, and I was alone with no abreast/proximate vehicles, and the vehicle pack behind me a mile away was closing in while the pack ahead was opening the gap. I was doing 55. So, how the hell was *I* speeding with a pack moving at the same clip the CHP car was. He only thought he had a ticket because he saw my car do half a weave as I adjusted my wobbly right-hand mirror, and I'd not even departed my lane. But, it got his sharp-eyed attention, they bore down on me, and I slowed, pulled over, removed the keys from the ig, and turned on my interior lights to facilitate their casual inspection/peek-in. Passing the FST (Field Sobriety Test) with flying colors, I was left alone while they stepped out of earshot, then returned to say they were citing me for speeding. If I were a quarter ounce of anti-matter, I'd have bumped something and ripped half the Western hemisphere away out of rage and indignation at the repugnant abuse of power and outright lie used against me. Anyway, I go on and on when this memory is recalled. For such cases, I firmly feel self-acquitting, stealthy, virtually-untamperable on-board cams should be available to motorists who want them...

    BTW, I beat that bullshit ticket. Know how? Not by testimony, but by the judge having the sense/decency to see what was going on. On my first court appearance, neither CHP was present, the explanation being the issuing officer was being transferred to Central California or northeast of there. The court set a new date. I appeared, and the judge then got my case before him, and read the sheet, and then proceeded to tell me the officer/s could not make it due to one being on mandatory vacation or something. Then, he proceeded to utter resetting the court date. I lost my cool and demanded to know THEY could TWICE get away with failing to appear for a bogus issue ticket but If I failed to appear even ONCE, I'd have a bench warrant out for my arrest. I re-explained what happened. Maybe he felt the rage, indignation, passion, and fury being held back, and with a courtroom full rapt/riveted viewers, he backed down, grumbled a split second, rapped his gavel, stated he was dropping the charges, and then said, "Case dismissed". I finally beat a bogus, BULLSHIT ticket.

    SHIT! My blood pressure just went up over this anecdote...)

    End of interjecting anecdote...

    So, while Google Glass is designed to put more of the world at the eyes of the wearer, not distract the users, police dash cams and other inventive and possibly legal, available cameras are supposed to help enforce the laws -- if employed correctly and in a timely manner. If his phone had geotagging on, it would have likely been a slam-dunk as far as the speeding goes. Even if he didn't film his speedometer, recognizable landmarks in the footage alone or on concert with the geotags and some basic math and knowledge of the distances between landmarks would have saved him some face.

    Again, I'm only guess about the circumstance. (I am someone who had around 13 moving violations in roughly a 4 or 5 year period my youth, and managed to keep my, license, but have been moving-violation-free since ~ 1999. After around 3 or 4 illegal/bogus tickets, I became VERY interested in ways of filming my own driving to torpedo any cop issuing a false speeding citation. Nowadays, in-phone GPS and (separately employed) geotags-on phones will either doom or exonerate) motorists truly innocent of a bogus citation -- assuming the phones are not bragged about to an officer who concots a reason to seize "as evidence" the phone. That could be an-upcoming landmark case, and a severely career-limiting-move (CLM) if phone company logs corroborate a motorist whose mobiles are seized and destroyed or "lost" in some bid to make a stinky ticket remain sticky.

    1. tomban
      Thumb Up

      Re: Prius can go up to 106 MPH, and depending on tires, faster.

      Cool story, bro!

  9. Da Weezil
    Stop

    The 'tard at Google - and the glassholes who refuse to be separated from their stupid toys need to understand that on today's crowded roads the only thing you need to be more connected with is the act of DRIVING.

    The rest of the world can wait until you can give it your attention - when behind the wheel your FULL attention needs to be on your driving, not stuff placed in your field of vision no matter how peripherally. We really have bred a generation of spoiled brats who want toys when it suits them rather than when it is appropriate.

    Id love to see the wearing of these behind the wheel outlawed everywhere - but I am sure Google own enough politicians to ensure that it never happens

    1. JDX Gold badge

      So GPS systems, car stereos and passengers should also be banned?

      Using Glass while driving would allow GPS and driving information to be put in your vision without you having to look away from the road. If you're using them for email you're an idiot, but people use their phones while driving already anyway.

      You might say it makes it easier to do without being caught, but if there's an accident the forensics people could probably tell what you were using it for at the time,

      1. BongoJoe

        So GPS systems, car stereos and passengers should also be banned?

        In my ideal world, yes.

        GPS are only for those who can't read a map and are unable to hold basic route instructions in one's head. I don't use a stereo because if I get bored I'll just look out the of front window and as for passengers; without them life is so peaceful.

        1. MrXavia
          Facepalm

          GPS are for those who can't read a map? WTF?

          I can read a map. but I can't do it while driving, well I can but that would get me arrested or cause an accident..

          A to B on major roads, following sign posts is easy, its the last mile that is always when GPS comes into its own, guiding you to your destination without the need to stop and ask directions or pull over to read a map that is likely 2 or 3 years out of date as you barely use it and only this one time needed it when going somewhere new...

          1. kiwimuso
            Facepalm

            @ MrXavia

            Well bugger me!

            I must have been doing it all wrong for the last 50 odd years.

            I have managed to find my way about for most of my driving years `with just a map in the glove-box, and my own memory. Very rarely been lost.

            Having said that, I do have a GPS these days, but still remember, that it is just a tool, and that like an out of date map, GPS mapping data is NOT infallible and one must apply a little common sense. to instructions.

          2. BongoJoe

            Ah you will be one of the horde then who tries to drive up the footpath by the cottage because 'The GPS said so' or gets a lorry or van caught on a bridge because they didn't read the signs but followed the PratNav.

            It's interesting all the downvotes. Surely you all can't be failing to remember the final-mile instructions on how to get from A to B?

            We've got a new by-pass here which is clearly marked and takes, particularly in summer when the tourists descend, up to half an hour off a journey if one wishes to by-pass the town. The by-pass is well marked at both ends and still it's interesting to see how many PratNav users go through town and get all snarled up in traffic.

            "Why didn't you use the by-pass?" is a common question asked to a frazzled driver.

            "It's not on the SatNav" is the usual reply.

            Which is odd because the thing has been open for years so saying that the dead tree version may be three years out of date is no excuse when the PratNavs can be equally useless and every single one of those drivers failed to show enough gumption to use the well indicated and well signed by-pass.

        2. M Gale

          GPS are only for those who can't read a map and are unable to hold basic route instructions in one's head.

          I'm sure the various lorry drivers and other long distance, international types will love having to keep a whole box of maps for every area they drive though.

          You do know that a GPS navigation device is basically a map with a homing ability, right? That's what those funny squiggles on the screen are. You know: roads.

          1. BongoJoe

            I'm sure the various lorry drivers and other long distance, international types will love having to keep a whole box of maps for every area they drive though.

            Correct. And when they get stuck in narrow town streets, jammed on bridges or as in the case of the Tesco delivery van the other year: lost in a field all because the Sat Nav sent them there then at least they have a comprehensive set of maps to find the nearest bed and breakfast whilst the locals try to dig you out in double record time.

            Have you never seen signs by the roadside saying "No SatNav" and still have seen something jammed?

            The excuses are all the same, "the SatNav sent me that way" despite road signs saying the contrary. And it is this that infuriates me. It's not the SatNavs per se, it's tt's those who cling onto every pixel and route as gospel and ignore signage which, let's face it, tends to be more appropriate to the immediate surroundings.

            I gave an example earlier, which was tellingly heavily downvoted, about a by-pass which in the tourist season hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of SatNav users ignore the local road signs each day. I find the downvotes amusing and I wonder how many of those users don't override the SatNav and replace with local knowledge when presented to them? Which is expect is the reason for the downvoting.

            1. 9Rune5 Silver badge

              "SatNav users ignore the local road signs each day" -- basically: stupid people do stupid things. If they ignore the roadsigns when using a satnav, what would prevent them from doing the same thing when using a map?

              The complexity of the road networks in most countries has grown over the course of 50 years.

              Heck, in my own home town of Oslo, there are parts where I nearly can't drive at all, because they keep changing the roads every 6 months or so. They are in the middle of reworking the whole thing, so every now and then a new temporary road pops up, diverting traffic in somewhat confusing directions before making everybody pull a u-turn and send them down some new tunnel somewhere. The only way to navigate that mess would be using an up-to-date satnav system (unfortunately my car's built-in one is already severely out of date).

              On average, the introduction of technology makes us more productive.

      2. TopOnePercent Silver badge

        You might say it makes it easier to do without being caught, but if there's an accident the forensics people could probably tell what you were using it for at the time,

        In the UK, unless there is a fatality or an extremely serious injury, forensics won't be involved at all.

        So when the painfully cool hipster switches lanes without looking and punts old Mrs Miggins off the road, nobody will know if they're watching cat videos & twattering, or only using it for satnav.

        Still, I have faith that upon release in the UK, google goggles will be banned from the roads; Much the same as the Segway etc. You can't hold a phone while driving, regardless of its being turned on or not.

        1. bigtimehustler

          Sadly I think you are right, but more fool this country for its nanny state nonsense. If the car were to be invented now, the UK would ban it as its far too dangerous. You can't ban everything just because it introduces a little more risk, life is full of risk and it always has been, you can't remove all of it and im fed up with people trying. Get a life and live your life to the fullest while you can!

    2. Greg D

      But whos to say that Google Glass couldn't actually benefit your awareness?

      Why are you so close-minded when you think of this. I like to think that most people are not stupid enough to be watching cat videos on YouTube while driving, but thats besides the point as others will.

      BUT, why cant this tech be used to help you identify hazards, the same tech Google are also building for their self-driving cars!? They have a 'driving mode' which I would imagine does exactly that, and with newer cars with added sensors (the like you'd normally see on a self-driving car), they can all link in to Glass and assist in your driving.

      Why is this a bad thing? You havent a clue what Glass is like to use, and you wont even accept that there ARE potential benefits of the technology.

      Go ahead though, carry on living in the 1900's. The rest of the world will leave you there.

      1. TopOnePercent Silver badge

        I like to think that most people are not stupid enough to be watching cat videos on YouTube while driving

        Road laws are, unfortunately, set to the level of the lowest ability, not the highest. In essence, they assume the worst.

        If you could strictly control the functionality of Glass - such as a Driving Glass product variant, then there could be potential for benefits. For as long as you can do anything with it that does not relate directly to driving, then those potential benefits will be trumped by the mongs misusing it. They just will.

        In the UK, if you haven't taken any driver training since your L test, then you almost certainly aren't of a sufficient standard to drive as it is, without making that worse by whiling away the journey OMGing at Chardonnays latest tweet.

        1. Nigel 11

          If you could strictly control the functionality of Glass - such as a Driving Glass product variant, then there could be potential for benefits.

          Now there's a sensible idea that's almost trivial to implement. Mandate cars to have a low-power transmitter in the steering wheel, that puts any Glasses in the vicinity of the driver's seat into legally mandated driving mode. For cheap uncertified ones, that would simply be "off". For better certified ones, that would enable augmented reality for drivers. I don't believe the technology for the latter is good enough yet, but give it another decade and it will be.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just curious...

    Having not seen any particular specification on the Glass, is it possible to determine at a distance whether or not it's switched on? And surely, while the cop is busy getting out of their car, one could surreptitiously switch the glasses off anyway, and presumably it couldn't be proven that they were ever on. Looks like this judgement is going to set a bit of a precedent.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Just curious...

      They should take the said Glass away for forensic analysis to check they were switched off at the time.

      1. Adam Foxton

        Re: Just curious...

        Forensic analysis?!

        Just drop an email to Google and subpoena their records for that device at that time.

  11. Blofeld's Cat
    Facepalm

    Spy in the cab...

    "... beat the speeding ticket he gave her for driving at 85 miles per hour in her Prius because of lack of evidence."

    If only there had been some sort of device in the car that could have recorded what she was doing at the time.

    Er, hang on ...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lack of evidence

    I don't get this. I thought that cops use some kind of _recording_ device to measure the speed? :)

    1. John Riddoch

      Re: lack of evidence

      There are various options here:

      - prosecutors screwed up & didn't present the evidence

      - It wasn't recorded correctly (e.g. the cop was only following and took speed from car speedo)

      - defence found a technicality to render presented evidence invalid

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: lack of evidence

      Nah, this is the US where the test of a potential drunk driver is not an electronic breath test but whether they can walk straight.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: lack of evidence

        Seriously? they see if they can walk straight? I can do that when hammered! my reactions are shot but I can walk straight, especially if I have an adrenaline surge from being pulled over by a cop...

        But then again with the stories i've heard, I would be quite wary about US cops, they sound quite aggressive and trigger happy, in the UK I trust coppers mostly, sure a few are idiots, but at least they are not idiots carrying guns, and usually the idiots who arrest without real justification are corrected by the upper echelons fairly soon after.. (yes I know on occasion the CPS makes mistakes and decides to prosecute the wrong people, but each case like that helps refine our legal system)

  13. Anonymous Goat

    Simply compel any manufacturer of headworn devices to restrict them to driving related functionality.

    At the same time, ensure all headworn cameras & mics have to comply with both Bluetooth and guesture based blocking, and turn themselves off when in the presence of another person who requires privacy.

    Maybe that should be 'worn or carried'.

    1. NotWorkAdmin

      Objection

      Please don't use the word "simply" when suggestion new laws. Adding more laws complicates things, exponentially as more are added, not the other way around.

  14. taxman

    t-shirt slogan

    if it fits.....wear it.

    A bit odd to wear for a court apperance though.....or is that the de rigour for US courts?

  15. James 36

    blah

    "Abadie has said she wears her Glass headset all the time, even when not using it"

    during sex ? in the shower ?

    enquiring minds need to know

    1. TopOnePercent Silver badge

      Re: blah

      Unless she scrubs up remarkably well, I can't imagine the former being an issue... as to the latter, well she probably has a bath so as to stop water coming between her and the dancing cats.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    maps

    They should detect the speed and that you're not on a train line and turn off.

    1. Toltec

      Re: maps

      "They should detect the speed and that you're not on a train line and turn off."

      How would they know you are not a passenger in a car or bus?

  17. Dick Emery

    People who wear glasses

    Someone up above said that the bar on these things could obstruct vision. So can the bar on any spectacles if you have a penchant for fashion (some specs have large sides). Anyhow. All Google has to do is ad an app that detects idiot pedestrians, that you are driving too close to the car in front, a speedo that alerts you when you are going over the limit etc and they will become a required addition to driving that is set in law.

  18. Luc Le Blanc

    Restrict Glass to GPS when driving

    Maybe Google should make it so that only the GPS function can be active above a certain speed (i.e. no Youtube videos in Glass while driving). That would be better than those cars with Facebook access in the console....

    1. PC Paul

      Re: Restrict Glass to GPS when driving

      "Maybe Google should make it so that only the GPS function can be active above a certain speed... "

      That would be a pain if you were a passenger. Or on a train. Or in a self-driving car...

  19. John 172
    Childcatcher

    We are Borg

    You will be Assimilated...

  20. Kevin 43
    Stop

    "Explorers"

    I've no doubt "customers" wearing them are "special" but calling them "explorers" like that is a thing now. I find the stench of their marketing repugnant.

    Perhaps the headline for the first car accident can read "Explorer kills pedestrian"

  21. Nanners

    and now

    Google owns the LAW. Do all evil, all the time.

  22. Goopy

    PUBLICITY STUNT

    Google paid he fees, win or lose, either way she is contracted now to be on 7 radio talk shows, 5 daytime shows (Ellen and Fox Morning confirmed). Cheapest form of advertising ever.

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