Ban Google Glass Use While Driving?

West Virginia is considering banning use of a “wearable computer with head mounted display” while driving. Makes sense, right?

Maybe not. Imagine the apps that might improve safety:

  • Sensing head movement and alerting the driver when those movements indicate drowsiness.
  • Using the camera to identify pedestrians and bicyclists in and around the roadway, and alerting the driver to their presence.
  • Integrating with GPS so when the navigation voice says “turn right at the next intersection” there’s an arrow superimposed at the appropriate place in the intersection ahead.
  • Using the camera to sense traffic signals and GPS to sense speed and alerting the driver to stop or slow when appropriate.
  • Using the camera to detect when the driver is not watching the road and alert the driver.
  • Displaying caller ID information upon voice command so the driver doesn’t have to look away from the road to take a call on the integrated hands-free phone.
  • Wireless integration with the car’s dash to display speed and other crucial operational information.
  • Wireless integration with the car’s vision/radar systems to highlight potential obstructions.

Sure, some of these apps could be integrated into the car with a dash heads-up display and voice capabilities. Others, however, benefit from having motion sensors and a camera mounted on the driver’s head. And looking at a heads-up display seems less distracting than looking down at the speedometer or other in-vehicle infotainment devices.

Let’s not knee-jerk ban these devices before they have a chance to make roads safer.

Hat tip: TechnoBuffalo, who apparently didn’t appreciate my comment on their article, which linked to here. Oh well…

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Author: Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Longboarder. Blood donor. Photographer. More about Brent.

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