Google Glass has been rules an official no-no for drivers in the U.K. before becoming commercially available.
A ban on using the the augmented reality devices while driving has been issued because of the potential for distraction it poses. Penalties will likely be identical to those associated with using a cell phone while driving, which means a £60 fine — roughly $90 — and three penalty points on the offender’s license. U.K. rules dictate that a license may be suspended if 12 or more points accumulate over a three-year period.
Consequences for distracted driving are inconsistent in the U.S. There are currently 41 states that have outlawed texting while driving and 37 of those treat it as a primary offense.
Questions about the potential risks Google Glass poses while driving were raised earlier this year by Gary G. Howell, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates. He introduced a bill that would see the device banned for drivers in the state much the same as it has been in the U.K.
Google Glass allows Android users to access features of their phones including web browsing, text messaging and the ability to place phone call.
The system has potential to provide drivers with head-up display navigation, which some might argue is actually safer than dash-mounted units or other integrated systems.
Garmin will offer a system that projects directions onto windshields soon. Last year during the Consumer Electronics Show, Audi previewed a navigation concept that would project turn-by-turn directions as if they were actually on the road. Blind corners would be revealed in advance and information about roadside features would be projected onto the glass with text and images.
The decision to ban Google Glass behind the wheel makes sense, but would an manufacturer-installed system that provides similar benefits be met with the same reaction?