With bills pending in at least eight states that would outlaw drivers from using Google Glass, the tech monolith is trying to convince politicians that its dorky video contraption will make us all better people. According to Bloomberg, Google lobbyists are trying to kill bills in Wyoming and Delaware, two of eight states that have drafted legislation to ban the device and others like it. Google Glass, a Bluetooth headset with a camera that can beam images, video, and all sorts of functions to the user’s right eye via a prism-like display, has been both loved and loathed since the first 8000 “beta testers” starting wearing them last year.
“We find that when people try it for themselves, they better understand the underlying principle that it’s not meant to distract but rather to connect people more with the world around them,” a Google representative told Bloomberg.
But while Harman recently unveiled a concept that would send collision and lane-departure alerts to Google Glass, hardly anyone knows what the device can or can’t do. Some states, following the federal government’s insistence to reduce distracted driving, aren’t waiting to find out.
In March of last year, West Virginia became the first state to draft a bill that would ban drivers from “using a wearable computer with a head-mounted display.” By June, Delaware and New Jersey followed in tow with proposed $100 fines. But as written, these three bills would let drivers like Cecilia Abadie—who practically became a martyr last fall when she was cited in California for wearing Google Glass in the car—get off the hook without question. Last month, Abadie did just that since the police couldn’t prove her headset was even on, let alone what she may or may not have been staring at.
Four more states filed anti-Glass legislation in the months following Abadie’s first outcry on her Google+ page. In December, the Illinois legislature drafted a bill to ban any driver wearing a “mobile computing headset” (whether or not it was switched on) and would call for a stiffer charge if a Glass wearer caused a serious accident.
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In January, New York called out Glass by name and explicitly wrote that “using” and “wearing” were the same thing, but unlike in Illinois, the bill would assume the driver was using the device even in stopped traffic. Missouri would ban any driver from trying to “operate or wear a head-mounted display” and would call for a 30-day license suspension on the first offense. Maryland’s bill would make similar assumptions and order a $75 fine, but would allow such use for GPS navigation. None of the eight bills have made it to a vote.
No one knows how this will play out, or if a similar law might get written in Washington. But we’ve realized one thing: Disney’s vision of our future highways in the film WALL-E—crowded with obese Americans watching video screens on autonomous hovercrafts—doesn’t seem at all far-fetched.
Read more from source:“caranddriver.com”
google lobbyists wage battle on eight states looking to ban google glass
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