When you think about upcoming Google technologies that state legislatures may be looking to regulate on their roadways, the first thing that pops into your head is likely self-driving cars.
But it’s another upcoming Google product that you may want to use in your car that one U.S. state is trying to ban.
H.B. 3057, introduced in the West Virginia legislature a few days ago, looks to add language to existing rules on traffic safety to include a ban on “using a wearable computer with head mounted display,” described as “a computing device which is worn on the head and projects visual information into the field of vision of the wearer.”
Sound like anything that Google is preparing to launch?
Although the bill doesn’t actually mention Google Glass by name, it’s fairly obvious what the lawmakers are referring to in their language.
Plus, one of the bill’s authors explicitly told CNET that it was a response to Google Glass. But it appears that at least one the bill’s authors, Gary Howell (R), doesn’t hate the technology – he simply sees it in the same way he sees texting.
“I actually like the idea of the product and I believe it is the future, but last legislature we worked long and hard on a no-texting-and-driving law. It is mostly the young that are the tech-savvy that try new things. They are also our most vulnerable and underskilled drivers. We heard of many crashes caused by texting and driving, most involving our youngest drivers. I see the Google Glass as an extension,” he says.
Fair point, but Google Glass’ possible applications while driving have already been tested – by Sergey Brin nonetheless. Last summer, Brin tested a new feature of Glass while driving. The feature automatically snaps a photo every 10 or so seconds, documenting your life (or more specifically, road trip) as you go. Here’s a picture from that test:
If the legislature is serious about passing this bill, they’ll have to do it sooner rather than later. Google Glass should be popping up on the market later this year. Although, if the bill’s authors are concerned about teenagers hitting the road with Google Glass strapped to their faces, they may want to reconsider their motivations. When Google Glass launches, it’s likely to cost nearly $1,500.