Google Glass in Automobiles: Productive or Dangerous?



        We’ve all heard the stories about the fabled Google Glass project; a technology that will change the world and the way humans go about their daily lives. The specs are expected to release in 2014 but there are numerous people who have been selected to receive an early pair very soon this year. With the release, some questions arise. How will this technology change and improve our current lives? Will Google Glass become and essential commodity? When will the product be most useful? 



        A major debate that is ongoing and will continue once consumers grab hold of the product is whether the Glass can be used while operating a motor vehicle. Legislators are currently trying to introduce bills restricting the use of the glasses while driving, as the product can be a major distraction for any driver. For example, lets say you’re driving on a winding road late at night. Small, almost meaningless text alerts, email notifications, and calendar events can distract even the most proficient driver. I know I’m not caring about so-and-so’s birthday on Facebook when I’m driving at midnight; why would I want it to appear right in front of my face? 



        Others argue,however, that the Google Glass technology has the potential to make positive contributions to a driver that outweigh the dangers. Google is famous for it’s Maps application and implementing navigation in a transparent screen can be a hands-free solution to the typical dashboard GPS which requires tinkering for several minutes before (and sometimes during) driving. Since the glass is an example of an emerging technology, there’s no telling what other applications may be developed strictly for driving. With just a little bit of effort attempting to make driving easier, the glass could develop apps to display a speedometer, change music, or turn on the air conditioning without having to physically do so or even turn away from the road. Pushing the possible dangerous alerts to the side, safety is provided by the driver always paying attention to driving while their route, speed, and other automobile accessories is displayed right in front of his or her face.

        There is definitely a solution to be found when weighing the benefits from the glass alongside the distractions of everyday social media and technology. Certainly, the glass can be seen in some ways as destructive like if the driver was surfing the web while driving. However, these positive effects cannot go unnoticed. In order to dodge this double-edged sword and ensure technology is perfecting our society, a simple “Driving Mode” should be developed for the Google Glass. With this so-called “Driving Mode,” the glass could stop pushing cell phone and social media notifications to the glass and allow the driver to use apps relating strictly to driving. Once the driver steps out of the vehicle, the glass would recognize and switch back to it’s regular mode, able to perform it’s abilities normally. 

        Will there be a sound way to implement Google Glass behind the wheel?



10 thoughts on “Google Glass in Automobiles: Productive or Dangerous?

  1. I believe it is essentially up to what the driver think is the safest way to drive on the road. Laws are often years behind technological advancements, I believe restricting the use of technology such as the Google glass is not the best idea of it. Even there is laws prohibiting the usage of mobile devices on the road, does people obey it strictly? The answer is probably no. I believe we should look more to equipping programs that is able to prohibit the driver from using his or her cellular device from functions that interferes with driving etc. I think it is a better alternative than making laws, knowing that most people don’t obey it anyways.

  2. I am glad to see that legislation is trying to be preemptive about Google glass in regards to privacy and driving issues. George makes a very good point that although we do have legislation about non-wearable devices not being permitted for use while driving, people continue to use them anyway (like for texting, as an example). As I was reading, I kept thinking that something similar to airplane mode on smart phones would be a quick and easy fix of this problem, so I completely agree with you in that regards. I find it especially interesting that Google glass could have both a positive and negative effect on driving safety, depending on available apps and way in drivers use their Google glass.

    An interesting additional nuisance would be the effect this may have on learning to driver. For an inexperienced driver, driving on the road can be both scary and dangerous. However, with something like Google glass, will it be possible (or even more safe) to develop some sort of virtual reality “learn how to drive” application with Google glass to make learning this skill easier and safer? I can think of a lot of parents of teenagers who may be interested in something like that. Very interesting and relevant post

  3. Building off what the previous two comments and what the blog mentioned, I feel like any passes laws or legislation will only be effective after the accidents take place. Although people are continually informed about the dangers of driving, there are many that still continue to do so. And your proposed “Driving Mode” may be an effective way to fix this problem, but the same can be said about Siri and how voice command was supposed to drastically improve the use of cell phones while driving.
    Also, while there may be some benefits from Google Glass in respect to driving, like for directions or alerts for upcoming traffic jams, I can’t help but get the feeling that the small screen from the glasses would impair any drivers field of vision. Even the glasses themselves look bulky enough to hinder one’s view of the mirrors. This was a great blog as you discussed all aspects of the question over impaired, which Google Glass isn’t going to make it any easier.

  4. On one hand, I like how the government is trying to pass a law that prevents Google Glasses from distracting drivers before it is released. I don’t know how Google Glass actually works, but i guess for sure it distracts the user since we can’t doing two things at once. On the other hand, I think the legislation is too early. Because no body knows how Google glass will be like. Maybe it has already ways to solve this kind of problems.
    George Yang in his comment says that even with the law, people will still use it like they use mobile phones in cars nowadays. I don’t agree, because mobile phones can be hide easily, but glasses can not be easily taken off during driving. So I think thats not really a problem on the effectiveness of the law.
    I like the “driving mode” idea you came up with. I like video, and I like how you expand what we talked about in class.

  5. I understand the government’s concern with google glass on the roads. Even though you aren’t taking your hands off the wheel, Glass would cause you to take both your attention and possibly eyes of the road. When I started to read your post, I agreed that the government should make some kind of ban of this technology on the road. However, you brought up so good points about the benefits of having this technology while driving. GPS can cause a lot of people to become unfocused and concentrate their attention to the device and not the road. Google Glass would definitely improve navigation on the road. I also liked your point about how it could help with changing things such as air conditioning with your voice. Ultimately, I think that it is important to protect everyone on the road but i’m not sure passing laws or using google glass will achieve that.

  6. With all the talk about this new Google Glass product, I am very excited to see its potential capabilities. I really hope Professor Kane is able to bring his pair into class. With the growing correlation between technology use in cars and accidents, It is going to be interesting to see how the companies respond. I read an article the other day about how talking into your phone or using your phone’s GPS system are just as dangerous as texting while driving. On the other hand, technology is extremely helpful in cars, especially in regards to GPS or music, therefore sooner or a later something will have to arise in order to make using them safer.

  7. This was a really good post. With all of the hype about Google Glass, I have not heard many possible negatives about it. You did a good job of showing how the double-edged sword of technology applies to Google Glass. Although they sound really interesting and helpful, they could be distracting while driving a car or any other activity that requires concentration and quick reactions. The idea of using Google Maps while driving was also interesting. That would be pretty amazing to see if it works.

  8. It is good to see that the government is trying to keep up with technology, which they usually lag behind with, by trying to establish laws about the upcoming Google Glass. As it is very well known the use of technology in cars is causing many accidents. We have laws currently in place against the use of cell phones in cars, but many still use their cell phones risking an accident. For this reason I feel that even if good laws are passed, many will still do what they feel what they want to do. I think your thoughts on a driving mode were a great answer to the issue of driving with Google Glass. By having certain things disabled while driving would solve many issues with the dangers of using Google Glass while driving. As technology continues to integrate with our lives we have to remember to not to become too distracted by it that we risk our lives.

  9. As long as there’s a “driving mode” and there’s no way to deactivate this driving mode than I think it is a great idea. There’s nothing worse than being in a car without a GPS and trying to figure out where to go by looking at google map’s directions on your phone. That’s definitely not safe so Google Glass would be a huge improvement. I’m sure a lot of people won’t want people to use them on the road because of safety concerns but I think they have the capability to make the roads more safe if they are used the right way.

  10. Nice post! You did a great job of showing both sides of the argument. In response to that video, my question is, what place does the government have interfering with a private company? Having a bill passed a isn’t plausible solution. Like some other people mentioned, until accidents actually occur, people probably won’t pay much attention to the law itself. Your idea of driving mode seems like a pretty safe way to go about this problem!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s