Charges against Google Glass driver dismissed

17 Jan 2014

A Californian driver who received a ticket from a police officer for wearing a pair of Google Glass smartglasses on the road has had her case dismissed as she claims the device was switched off.

In what is likely to become an increasing problem for police across the world, software developer Cecilia Abadie has become the first person in the world to be pulled over on a motorway after a police officer noticed she was wearing a pair of Google’s smartglasses.

The authorities issued her a ticket last October on the presumption she could not be concentrating on the road while using the device at the same time.

Claiming that the device was switched off, she eventually took the case to court and in the landmark decision, Abadie has now walked away without charge. She had also said she had been wearing the glasses as part of Google’s ‘explorer’ project.

Glass on the road

Google launched the Glass Explorer Programme last year. The programme has given more than 30,000 people to date a pair of the smartglasses for beta testing to see how the glasses work in everyday life before they go on general wholesale, expected sometime later this year.

Countries are now debating what should be done about future smartglasses use by drivers as there are concerns about road safety from authorities who see the gadget as even more distracting than a mobile phone.

The Irish Government has been taking a potential ban into consideration but the UK has been one of the first nations to have passed a law, last July, for an outright ban on wearing smartglasses while driving.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic