Google lobbying on driver headset restrictions
Published 26/02/2014 | 02:30
Google is lobbying officials in at least three US states to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass, marking some of the first clashes over the nascent wearable technology.
Some eight US states are considering regulation of Google Glass, a tiny computer screen mounted in the corner of an eyeglass frame. Law enforcement and other groups are concerned that drivers wearing the devices will pay more attention to their email than the road, causing serious accidents.
So-called wearables such as Google Glass, smart watches and sophisticated health devices may represent the next big shift in technology, just as smartphones evolved from personal computers, and enthusiasts predict billion-dollar markets. Google, which is still testing Glass, charges $1,500 (€1,090) per pair.
Google has deployed lobbyists to persuade elected officials in Illinois, Delaware and Missouri that it is not necessary to restrict use of Google Glass behind the wheel, according to state lobbying disclosure records and interviews conducted by Reuters.
Courts are just beginning to consider the matter. Last month in San Diego, a woman's traffic ticket for wearing Google Glass behind the wheel was dismissed because there was no proof the device was operating at the time. (Reuters)