Using Google Glass will be a driving offence, says Department for Transport

Drivers won't be allowed to use Google's new Glass smart eyewear on the road - even though the product has yet to go on sale.

The Department for Transport has issued a ban on using the device while driving, saying that drivers should keep their attention focused on the road.

Speaking to Stuff magazine a spokesperson for the DfT said: "We are aware of the impending rollout of Google Glass and are in discussion with the police to ensure that individuals do not use this technology while driving. It is important that drivers give their full attention to the road when they are behind the wheel and do not behave in a way that stops them from observing what is happening on the road.

"A range of offences and penalties already exist to tackle those drivers who do not pay proper attention to the road, including careless driving — which will become a fixed penalty offence later this year."

The likely penalty for using Google Glass while driving would be £60, plus three points on their driving licence. Such a penalty would be in line with the current fines for using a mobile phone while driving. The ban has echoes of the 2003 ban on using a mobile phone while driving. More than a million drivers have been fined since then.

Banning the use of Google Glass while driving has ramifications not only for potential customers, but also for app developers.  Glass is set to go on sale next year.

A Google spokesman said: “We are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass because new technology always raises new issues. Our Glass Explorer programme, currently only launched in the US, reaches people from all walks of life and will ensure that our users become active participants in shaping the future of this technology.”

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Comments
18

1 August 2013

How much lobbying was needed for this, users of glass would not need Bluetooth, sat nav or any of the smart speed limit display tech. How is this different to head up display, in car sat nav, in car, phone kits or other non essential information displays. I smell a rat. Did the DfT explain on what research basis this ban was issued and will wearing the device be an offence or is it just using it.  

1 August 2013

PhilM4000 wrote:

How much lobbying was needed for this, users of glass would not need Bluetooth, sat nav or any of the smart speed limit display tech. How is this different to head up display, in car sat nav, in car, phone kits or other non essential information displays. I smell a rat. Did the DfT explain on what research basis this ban was issued and will wearing the device be an offence or is it just using it.  

 

totally agree, these civil servants who made rules (sometimes based on nothing) don't usually drive, they get chauffeured around in government vehicles. also

It's ok to eat a big fat burger while driving but not to use google glasses!!!!!

1 August 2013

... it will sell.

1 August 2013

While the X ray glasses are authorised...

1 August 2013

....by some bureaucrat with no understanding of modern technology and knee-jerking when put on the spot by a journalist. The whole point of Google Glass is to capitalise on augmented reality e.g. to put a sat nav map over the real world view. That has to be better than taking your eyes off the road to look at your sat nav screen! If Google are smart, they will build in a "drive mode" to switch off the social media bit and leave the navigation and augmented reality features in operation. 

1 August 2013

Theojw71 wrote:

 If Google are smart, they will build in a "drive mode" to switch off the social media bit and leave the navigation and augmented reality features in operation. 

And how long before its hacked so that users can get around this and view Facebook, Twitter, or Vine while they should be concentrating on the road?

Less than 48 hours I'd bet - once the Jailbreaking/rooting crowd get their hands on it.

Do you also agree that we should be allowed to use our mobiles while driving? Have Apple/Google et al been smart enough to build a "drive mode" into their phones?

Personally, I think this is the right decision. You'll never be able to stop everyone from texting or using other tech while they are driving. There will always be some who do. But I believe that discouraging people with a fine and three points is right in this instance.

And i'm an app developer!

Rods.

1 August 2013

So can the Apache helicopter pilots refuse to fly missions due to the similar ocular glass that they use to shoot ONLY bad people?

Apple paid some brown envelopes out?

1 August 2013

I'm sure a case could be made for Google Glass as a driver's aid but the reality is most drivers are   concentrating significantly less than they could, or should, be for 90% of their time at the wheel so this is the last thing we need.

1 August 2013

I wonder when the Department of Transport are going to ban attractive women pedestrians? I mean if the model in the above photo walked passed my car...

In all seriousness, what criteria does the department of transport use for driver distraction? Given the amount of signage on our roads, the technology allowed in our cars etc, it'd be an interesting study to find out just how much time we actually spend looking at the road ahead.

Would I, wearing my google glasses, pose any more of a danger than say a parent driving with their siblings in the back seat?  

 

1 August 2013

this seems yet another daft civil servant - but a good marketing ploy for Google.. lest we forget the latest gadget we do not need - strangely heads up displays are available n a number of cars and not banned.. what we really need is a ban on people talking to you - which is far more distracting, especially if topic is any good...

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