In a shocking display of corporate greed and disregard for the safety of everyone on our roadways, Google is mounting a full-scale assault to keep states from enacting legislation to protect their citizens by prohibiting use of Google Glass while driving.
Google wants to protect its market and profits by selling Google Glass and Google wants drivers to be able to use Google Glass while driving. Google Glass is a glasses-like device that has a small screen that is positioned above one’s right eye and within the arm of the glasses are essentially the components that allow the device to pair with your smartphone. The device is controlled with voice commands or by touching it. Using the device lets you take photos and video, check e-mail, get the weather , get directions and a host of other information and have that information displayed on the screen. Swiping to the left or right will show earlier screens or load newer screens. Potentially a great product but why would Google want anyone to use them while driving? Reuters recently reported that Google is sending lobbyists out across the country to block legislation that would prohibit drivers from using Google Glasses while driving. Google is fighting legislators who want to rightly protect their constituents.
Beyond common sense there is also scientific evidence that supports the danger of using Google Glass while driving. Using Google Glass requires drivers to think about using the device, initiate the process of accessing information through the device, look at and read the resultant information on the device’s screen and then cognitively process and act on that information. Thus, there are visual distractions as well as cognitive distractions presented. With respect to cognitive distractions studies have demonstrated that “hands free does not mean risk free.” Scientific studies have repeatedly demonstrated that our ability to multi-task is limited because our brains are easily overloaded when too much information needs to be processed. Driving is, by itself, cognitively demanding. Adding a secondary task, voice to texting or using Google Glass, overloads our brains and results in brain resources necessary for safe operation of a motor vehicle being diverted from the task of driving and a diminished safe driving ability. I suspect that Google Glass will prove to be even more dangerous than voice to texting while driving as there is, in addition to the cognitive distraction component, a component of visual distraction with the Google Glass screen that is not present in the voice to text products.
Google should recall its lobbyists and send a strong message that Google Glass is not safe for drivers and should never be worn while driving.
- To learn about why “hands-free is not risk-free go to exchange.aaa.com
- To learn more about Google Glasses go to abcnews.go.com