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Proposed bill would ban Google Glass while driving in West Virginia

While Google envisions wearable computing as a means to cut down on distractions and make technology a more intuitive, natural extension of our daily lives, the debate is already heating up around Glass. First, a bar in Seattle placed a pre-emptive ban on the device due to privacy concerns. Now, lawmakers in West Virginia are mulling a bill that would make it illegal to use Google Glass while driving.

While Google might argue that Glass will provide a host of features useful whilst driving (possibly including navigation, trip info,  and hands-free control of things like Bluetooth audio) and do so in a way that allows the wearer to still keep both eyes on the road, concern that the eyewear could become a distraction is not unfounded. The last thing we need are drivers with text message alerts flashing in their peripherals, pulling attention away from the road.

The law would actually ban all wearable computing devices while driving, though the rising mindshare around Glass makes it the obvious target. It’s feasible that Glass could easily be shoehorned into falling under existing laws in many states that ban the use of handheld phones while driving, and the move would be a smart one.

[via AllThingsD]

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  • Thomas Jefferson II

    It’ll be ok once I’m in my self-driving Google car!

  • godrilla

    safety 1st

  • TheOtherGuy

    First hands-free? Now “eyes-free”? What’s next?

    • AdrianP513

      Brain-free?

  • http://jimeagle.com James Eagle

    I wonder how many of these people have actually held a Google Glass judge?

  • Chimphappyhour

    Safety? Nah. This is just a state that saw a place to get themselves into the news by getting a “first”. How in the heck would they even be able to enforce it? The cops would be so distracted trying to tell if a motorist is wearing them or not that they would be a safety hazard themselves.

  • Jason Yuen

    Tonight on 6 o’clock news: Man with erection killed after driving off a cliff while watching pornography on Google Glass.

  • http://www.facebook.com/madmikeX3 Michael Parks

    So my navigation feature will be useless unless walking.

    • RichFromBX

      unfortunately the responsible few who would only use it for that are being punished for the perverts out there who would have the Ms Teen Delaware video on loop…

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    The device isn’t even available for sale, and bills are being drawn up against it???

  • MIKEEEEE

    moot point with the crappy coverage there.

  • AndroidProfit

    Wow Kevin is obviously clueless about the scientific studies showing that your brain cannot handle multitasking while driving. The notion that you would be safe driving with Google class is a joke. Get a clue Kevin. Perpetuating this myth shows complete ignorance.

    • Big_EZ

      It would be a lot safer using navigation that let’s you keep your eyes on the road instead of on the dash. And to say that anyone’s brain can’t handle multi tasking while driving is just dumb. There are many tasks that can’t be done safely while driving, but we multi task while driving every day. If drive and say you don’t multi task while driving your kidding yourself.

      • AndroidProfit

        Scientific studies have demonstrated that your brain cannot handle multitasking while driving. How exactly is this dumb? While you are talking to someone whether it’s Bluetooth or directly with the phone to your head it is distracting you! It seems you’re simply trying to justify your reckless behavior.

    • No_Nickname90

      Then how are there people that can drive standard? That requires a lot of side-thinking. You have to pay attention to the road, your gears, the clutch, and all this other stuff I don’t know about.

      • Unorthodox

        Driving standard only requires side-thinking when you’re a noob. It becomes instinct afterwards. When I drove, I could tell speed by the sound of my engine, because I always knew which gear I’m on. Hell, I wish my vision was back, so I could drive again.
        And driving standard doesn’t restrict your vision field, which Glass does. Driving requires 100% attention and split-second decisions, which 99% of people are incapable of without continuously scanning the road and surroundings.

        • airtonix

          what is this “standard” nonense? It’s called Manual… as in you manually change gears.

          • Unorthodox

            That’s what it’s called I’m North America. I know it’s called manual everywhere else.

          • Unorthodox

            That’s what it’s called in North America. I know it’s called manual everywhere else.

      • AndroidProfit

        So it’s okay to add more sh*t to distract us while driving?

    • Matthew Merrick

      So you advocate banning children in the vehicle then? Because there’s no bigger distraction than a couple rowdy kids.

      • AndroidProfit

        So you’re saying it’s okay to add more distractions to driving? If you really think that I am proposing we keep passengers out of the car you’re delusional. I do not know how you jump that far…

        • Matthew Merrick

          It’s not a distraction! It REMOVES distractions by allowing your eyes to stay the road while viewing a map, using voice commands, ect!

  • noneurbusinesses@gmail.com

    Yeah, how can they know if driving with GG is dangerous, has there been any scientific experiment to prove that it is dangerous? They are making a law against technology that doesn’t even technically exist yet… lawmakers are aimlessly wreck less.

  • Maximillion82

    Good luck enforcing that one, no way to tell if someone is wearing glasses or Google glass from the distance.

    • hemipw54

      Right no way to tell! Like if the driver is weaving or driving off the side of the road that is normal driving for most right?

      • Maximillion82

        well in that case you can tell but i mean enforcing it for the people wearing glass and driving normal. but after one wrecks their car and gets a ticket for not being in control of their vehicle, the glass ticket seems minor. but as a precautionary way to enforce it’s hard for an officer to tell.

  • hemipw54

    How come NASCAR doesn’t have Google Glass? Couldn’t Jeff Gordon use them for data acquisition? NASCAR drivers know, distractions are dangerous.

  • scoter man1

    Honestly, it’s probably a good idea. I wish them good luck with enforcing it though.

  • Reg Joo

    These concerns are stupid, the tech would be much safer than what you have to do now, than even having a heads-up display on the windshield( which would still be cool). As much as you have to take your eyes off the road now, even if you have one of the newer systems that come with new cars now, is not as safe as google glass. Maybe there should be a solution of turning off certain features, while the car’s in motion(videos, movies, stuff like that..). With glass, voice recognition, and reliable connection, the future looks great, west virginia will lose out, because politicians want to hear theirselves talk, and make more senseless rules, without any testing. Maybe google should pad their pockets, like a certain fruit does.

  • Matthew Merrick

    Oh, this sort of thing is nothing new. I mean, look at
    http://stopthecyborgs.org/about/

    It’s a glass-spawned anti-cyborg hate group. It’s horrible. It’s stupid. It’s fighting against progress and evolution – just like everything the Republican party does.

    We’re quickly approaching a sci-fi style world, with intelligent – heading towards sentience – computers, people who voluntarily become cyborgs to enhance themselves, ect.

    There will be discrimination. There will be hate crimes. There will be huge amounts of people so freakin stupid we wish they’d all just explode – tho is that THAT far removed from where we are now?

    • Ben Kapferer

      How is wanting privacy a bad thing?

  • Matthew Merrick

    This is also just ridiculous because Google Glass is BY FAR the safest way to do ANYTHING in the car because you you never take your eyes off the Road. What’s more dangerous, your phone talking to you, a transparent overlay over the road, or diverting your attention from the road to read a physical map or a printout of directions? What’s more dangerous, saying “ok glass, listen to this” or fiddling with physical controls that you may or may not be familiar with, and looking at the readout to see what song is playing or to find a channel. I could go on, but needless to say Glass is one of the best ‘safe driving tools’ ever made.

    • AndroidProfit

      Scientists and FACTS would disagree with you.

  • AdrianP513

    This will be just as easy to enforce as texting while driving.

    All sarcasm implied.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

    Too bad. I’d like to see these repurposed to replace bioptic lenses. My wife has to use one of these to legally drive, and with a proper piece of software, I think that Glass could function as a built in magnifier. (She only uses the lens to see street signs, not to drive in general)