Driving with Google Glass leads to lawsuit

January 16, 2014
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Judge to decide if Google Glass is allowed while driving.

Judge to decide if Google Glass is allowed while driving.

In October, a California woman, Cecilia Abadie, was pulled over by a police officer for allegedly driving 80 mph in a 65 mph zone.  The California Highway patrol officer also noticed that Ms. Abadie was wearing Google Glass.  He therefore cited her for an additional violation, typically given to drivers who are watching video or TV on a front screen.  Google Glass is a wearable, optical head-mounted display that can act like a hands-free smartphone and communicate via the internet with voice commands.  In February 2013, Google initiated the Explorer Program where approximately 30,000 people were given this device to use and provide feedback.  Ms. Abadie was one such Explorer.  She has pleaded not guilty to both charges in San Diego traffic court.  Today, her case is expected to be heard.  The ruling could have an impact on users of this technology.  In an AP article written by Julie Watson, Ms. Abadie said, “It’s a big responsibility for me and for the judge who is going to interpret a very old law compared with how fast technology is changing.”  While Ms. Abadie wears Google Glass about 12 hours per day, her attorney said that the device was not activated while she was driving.  The law, as written, states that anything which distracts a driver from the road is considered dangerous.  Bills have been introduced in three states to ban the use of Google Glass while driving.  Google itself encourages all users to “Read up and follow the law.”

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