Report: Google hires lobbyists to fight bans on Glass while driving

Filed under: Government/Legal, Technology

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google appear

Cat videos have much to do with many of our ills, and they’ve come up again in discussions various states are having about whether to preemptively ban Google Glass while driving. It was August 2013 when news reports began delving into potential bans and penalties in the US and UK for using Google Glass while driving. As specific states begin to draw hard lines and introduce legislation, Bloomberg reports that Google is ramping up its lobbying efforts to belay prohibitive rulings until government and authorities understand what the technology is and how it can be applied.

Gary Howell already knows how he feels. The Republican Delegate in West Virginia – who was already working on a bill last summer that got derailed by “procedural issues” – told Bloomberg, “You can be watching cat videos driving down the road and laughing at them. When you’re rolling down the road in a ton-and-a-half of metal at 65 miles per hour, you can do some serious damage.” Illinois, Delaware, Maryland, Missouri, New York, New Jersey and Wyoming are considering everything from bans to rules that will mandate the study of Glass before it gets approved for use while driving. With distracted driving still a big topic and lawmakers having a hard enough time with smartphones and OEM infotainment systems, it appears they don’t even want to risk having to deal with another screen.

Google is said to have put its lobbyists in touch with regulators in Illinois, Delaware and Wyoming already. Observers, naturally, believe that the Mountain View company is trying to protect the potentially lucrative business of selling the $1,500 eyewear. Google’s position is that Glass isn’t yet widely available, so why the need to draft countermeasures? Google’s case is weakened, however, by announcements from carmakers like Mercedes and Hyundai that are already promoting in-car integration. And seeing that the court cases and controversy have already commenced, it looks like everyone should simply settle in for what will likely be an expensive, and drawn out, fight.

Google hires lobbyists to fight bans on Glass while driving originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


About Jonathon Ramsey