Reuters is reporting that Google is actively lobbying at least three states (Illinois, Missouri and Delaware) to stop suggested laws against driving with devices such as Google Glass. This is likely just the start of these types of legislative battles that Google is likely going to face. There are eight other states that are also considering such legislation against wearable computing such as Google Glass. Lawmakers are saying, users could become preoccupied with data coming into Glass rather than paying attention to the road which could lead to accidents. New York, Maryland and West Virginia also are in the midst of such legislation but Google has yet to deploy lobbyists to those states to defend their product.
Distracted driving is something I think we can all agree on is dangerous, texting and surfing the web is never a good idea and is better left when not at the wheel. But Google Glass is such new technology not everyone fully understands its abilities and limitations. Wearable computing is still in its childhood and there needs to be more research to determine how it affects users while driving. As a non user myself I can certainly understand the concern some people have with Google Glass and its potential dangers. In the same breath, as a tech geek I can understand the technology and common sense use of such a device. I suppose the issue arises after Google Glass comes out of Beta and is reduced in cost. At that point you have more users, because price is no longer an issue, and with more users you have more risk.
Currently I think it’s safe to say that most Google Glass users are probably tech savvy. Once this gets out to the masses you’ll have not so tech savvy or responsible people purchasing Google Glass, that’s when you may run into issues. It’s really a difficult situation to be in. On the one hand you want to let people be free to use their tech as they see fit, trusting that they are responsible and common sense adults. On the other hand, once the irresponsible get a hold of this device there could be some real problems. At this point I’m not sure where I would lean on this controversy but one thing I know, this isn’t the end of this type of legislation. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!