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Google Input Devices Transportation United Kingdom

In UK, Google Glass To Be Banned While Driving 214

RockDoctor writes "Stuff magazine, a gadget oriented mag, is reporting that the UK's Department for Transport is planning to ban drivers from using Google Glass, using the same law (1988 Road Traffic Act) that is used to ban drivers from using hand-held mobile phones. While there are obvious parallels between the distraction potential of the mobile phone and of Glass, there are arguments in the other direction that the speech-control aspects of Glass could make it less distracting than, say, a touch-screen SatNav. So, to ban Glass while driving or not? Typical fines for using a mobile phone while driving are £60 cash plus three penalty points on the driving license; the points expire three years after the offence and if you accumulate 12 points then you've lost your license. Repeat offenders may experience higher fines and/ or more points. Around a million people have received the penalty since the mobile phone ban was introduced in 2003."
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In UK, Google Glass To Be Banned While Driving

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  • by The Living Fractal ( 162153 ) <banantarr AT hotmail DOT com> on Thursday August 01, 2013 @12:58PM (#44448083) Homepage
    The truth is pretty simple: People who want to be distracted while driving will find a way to be distracted while driving. Doesn't matter if it's a cell phone, spacing out thinking about other things, eating a Royale with Cheese or any number of other possibilities. You can write laws until you're blue in the face but you aren't addressing the behavior with any of them. What we need is smart automobiles that can tell when the driver is getting a blo---errr, is distracted, and can compensate accordingly. Maybe even by driving the car autonomously for a few moments. Obviously it's not a coincidence that Google is working on just that kind of tech right now.
  • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @01:08PM (#44448231)

    The most important thing in driving is to be alert. Anything that focuses your attention prevents you from being alert. It doesn't matter if the thing you are staring at is the road, the car in front of you, your phone, your gauges, or anything else. It all reduces alertness.

    GG is not some piece of magic. It WILL focus your attention.

  • by noh8rz10 ( 2716597 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @01:09PM (#44448239)

    Eyes that are focused on the windscreen (remember, it's a UK story) will see the road clearer than ones focused on Google Glass a centimetre or so from the eye.

    it's even more drastic than you say. eyes are focused on the car 100 feet away, then GG 1 cm away. attention nightmare.

  • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @01:16PM (#44448333)

    Hands free technologies are not less distracting; in some cases, they're the worst. The cell phone lobby is desperately trying to focus on "hands free" stuff to sidetrack the issue.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/29/AR2010012900053.html [washingtonpost.com]

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/12/autos/aaa-voice-to-text/index.html [cnn.com]

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/even-hands-free-you-shouldnt-talk-or-text-while-driving/2013/07/29/4d7214ec-f3d0-11e2-aa2e-4088616498b4_story.html [washingtonpost.com]

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/opinion/hands-free-distractions.html?_r=0 [nytimes.com] ...and on and on, if you just google things like "hands free driving distracting"

    Having your hands on the wheel simply increases your control of the car. It does not do ANYTHING about your brain being more preoccupied with the conversation or task.

    Your job in your car is to DRIVE. Not to eat, not to put on makeup or comb your hair, not to text, not to read, not to talk to someone who isn't in the car. You're piloting 2-3 tons of metal that can and do injure, maim, and kill. People driving cars kill 30,000+ a year in the US alone. Take the responsibility seriously and stop faffing about trying to carry on your life in your car. If you need to get things done while traveling, RIDE THE BUS.

  • by Russ1642 ( 1087959 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @01:16PM (#44448345)

    Anyone looking at their windscreen is blind to what's ahead of them anyways. You need to be focused roughly ten seconds down the road to be able to react properly.

  • by AndyAndyAndyAndy ( 967043 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {inicafa}> on Thursday August 01, 2013 @01:17PM (#44448349)
    That article (and many other half-baked clips that were popular earlier this year) was based on a very weak report by AAA. Weak because it relied upon self-reporting, rather than accident report statistics.

    The more I read into it, it's just a mess. Graphs correlating phone use with internet use (no bearing on safety?), alcohol use during the last year with phone use during the last month, and importantly, correlates the frequency of car crashes over two years with cell phone use over one month. In that point, which should have been their most relevant, it even showed no statistical difference between the self-reported phone use of "once/rarely" and "often/regularly."

    Here is a link to the primary source. [aaafoundation.org]
  • Re:How about if... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @01:18PM (#44448361)

    The difference between 'driving dangerously' and 'deadly crash' is nothing but luck. The point is to stop the problem BEFORE it becomes 'dangerous driving'. You did know that, right?

  • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @02:25PM (#44449481)

    That's a whole lot of 'what ifs'.

    It could show you the speed limit and warn you when you're going over. So you don't have to keep on looking for speed signs when you're driving in areas your unaccustomed to.

    Seeing speed limit signs are difficult for you? Also, the signs are what set the limit, not some app. If GG can see the sign, so can you. If you are trusting some unofficial source to tell you the speed limit you are an idiot. And if you are like the vast majority of people you are almost always over the speed limit, making this indication useless. On the other hand, I am sure the cops would just love to know that you had already been warned about exceeding the speed limit.


    It could detect erratic driving and warn you to stay away from drunk drivers.

    That is your job as the driver. If you don't know how to do it, take a defensive driving course. Your job is to be alert for ANYTHING that can affect you, not just something previously identified as 'erratic'.

    It could show you your nav directions so you won't have to look down or near the radio for directions.

    Why are you looking at a nav for directions? You should be using voice directions. As I said above, the problem is what you are focused on (ie getting directions), not where you are looking.

    It could detect adverse conditions and warn you before something happens. Like the car in front of you suddenly stopping and your distracted with your kids or fiddling with the climate control.

    Adding additional distractions is not the answer to being distracted. What could be worse than being distracted, having the car stop in front of you, and having your attention drawn to your freaking app? If such alerts are desirable they would be FAR better delivered as an audible signal than something that takes your focus.

    It could tie into your car's sensors, when you try and change lanes with someone in your blind spot it could warn you about a possible collision.

    Again, that is your responsibilty. Relying on some app to do it is just stupid. And again, it will take your attention at exactly the wrong moment.

    Tie it to a infrared camera so when your driving in rural areas in the night it could warn you of dangerous deer on the road.

    If you are outdriving your headlights you are a dangerous driver. An app is not going to fix that.

    NONE of those things would make you 'a better driver'.

  • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Thursday August 01, 2013 @03:07PM (#44450011)

    Most of these suggestions for 'improving' driving seem to come from quite crappy drivers. I include you in that category because you use the phrase '... focus on anything but the road'. WRONG! You are not supposed to be 'focused' on ANYTHING, including 'the road'. You are supposed to be ALERT. Your eyes are supposed to be constantly moving, look at the road, look at the car in front of you, look in front of that car, look in your mirrors, look at your gauges, look to at the sides, look off in the distance. ANYTHING that encourages (or allows) you to focus on ANYTHING, including the road, is a detriment to good driving, not an aid.

    Focusing on the road is called (or used to be) highway hypnosis. You are nicely focused, convinced that everything is OK (after all, if it wasn't OK my wonderful gadgets would tell me), and you are as dangerous as if you were just about asleep.

    The FEAR is not 'fear of the new', it is both the combined experience of the past (ie texting and cell phones), and the fear that these gadgets would cause crappy drivers to somehow think they are now better. Neither one of those is good.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"