Driving with Glass
It has been an interesting few weeks with +Google Glass
and something that I continually run into is people suggesting that driving with Glass is dangerous and should be or will be illegal.
I'm just speculating here, but I am assuming that the people who truly feel this way make up a group of people that have ZERO experience with Glass. Sure they have read about it, seen video reviews, and certainly have heard #stephanopolous
and his opinion on the subject . . . .he was doing it wrong btw ;)
Within this group of people who think Glass is dangerous behind the wheel, I am sure that a few have "some" experience with Glass i.e. getting a demo from an actual Glass Explorer.
Regardless of ZERO experience or just a day with this wearable tech, when you say Glass is dangerous behind the wheel . . . you are wrong. Plain and simple.
Almost every car going down the road now a days has a GPS unit mounted to the windshield by the rearview mirror and a SiriusXM radio unit attached somewhere. The newer vehicles have touchscreen radio screens upwards of 10 inches and have become more useful and more complicated at the same time.
I would argue that your current radio, gps, hands-free cell phone, XM setup is FAR MORE DANGEROUS than Glass. Why you ask?
The answer is simple. With Glass, you never take your eyes off the road. Your focus is straight ahead. If I want to use Glass I have two options. I can tilt my head back 30 degrees while keeping my eyes on the road or I can just tap the side of glass. Either way it is activated and I utter the command "OK Glass."
From here, and experienced Glass user has his or her commands memorized thanks to familiarity with the device. OK Glass, Take a Picture. OK Glass, Give me directions to. OK Glass, make a call to. OK Glass, send a message to. All these things without ever taking your eyes off the road.
Sure, I could do a google search and use the built in web browser to navigate a web page, but I would never do that!! Just like I would never read a news paper while going down the road . . . BUT
there are plenty of idiots out there who would do both. In the 18 years I've been driving, I can't believe the amount of times I have seen stupid people reading a magazine, opening mail, applying makeup, shaving, even changing their clothes all while doing 70 mph+ on the interstate.
There is no fix for stupid and we shouldn't need a law to tell drivers not to do the goofy things mentioned above. Glass does not distract a driver. I can receive and respond to information via Glass in just a glance, all while keeping my eyes straight ahead and on the road.
Let's talk texting and driving. A big no no right? Absolutely. Many of you know that I am a car dealer by trade. I just took a trip to visit family in the 2014 Buick Enclave with GM's new Intellilink radio. This radio seamlessly connects to your smartphone and boasts the ability to make calls and text via voice commands and the touchscreen portion of the radio.
When a text message comes in, the vehicle chimes and a window pops up on the radio screen. You can close it or click play to have it read to you. No biggie for safety. Just a quick glance down and then your eyes are back on the road. Safety becomes an issue when you choose reply. A list pops up of generic responses: yes, no, I'm stuck in traffic, where are you, that's funny, see you in 10 min, etc. You have to browse to the one you want, click it, and then send. It takes roughly 2-3 seconds to do this. Even longer if you want to initiate a text from scratch.
Here's the problem. I highly doubt any cop is going to bust anyone for "using their radio" and no law enforcement agent is going to actually know you were texting from your dash. Regardless, this is just as bad as texting from your phone, but less enforceable, and equally dangerous.
Glass is totally different, and for me, a solution to distracted driving. A text comes in and I nod my head up keeping my eyes on the road. Then I say the simple command of "OK Glass" read aloud. Then I say "OK Glass" reply and dictate my response. Someone tell me how this is distracted driving?
Even taking a picture while driving is safe. The camera is mounted to the side of Glass. It is aimed wherever your nose is pointed to. You either press the camera button on the top of Glass or usher the command "OK Glass, Take a Picture." Either way, you can choose to follow up with "OK Glass, Share with, Google+ Public and away it goes. Heck, half the time I also say Add a caption, and add one before sending. All without EVER taking my eyes off the road.
I'm curious to hear what you have to say on the subject. You made it this far reading what I had to say, I'd like to hear form you as well. Fire away!