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Google lobbying states to block anti-Google Glass while driving laws

updated 01:58 pm EST, Tue February 25, 2014

Three states' officials contacted by Google-funded lobbyists

According to reports, Google is attempting to stop legislation that would mark Google Glass as a hazard to driving. Elected officials in Delaware, Illinois, and Missouri have allegedly been contacted, with the search engine giant claiming that it isn't necessary to restrict Google Glass use by drivers as the technology is still in its infancy, and not widely available to the public.

Clearly, despite Google's protestations to the contrary while lobbying against various bills, the technology is headed towards wider release. Illinois state Senator Ira Silverstein introduced the anti-Google Glass bill in December, and tersely responded to Google's statement, saying only "who are they fooling?" Silverstein told Reuters that he had recently met with Google lobbyists regarding the measure.

Google stands behind its technology. A statement regarding the measure said that "we think it is important to be part of those discussions." It also claimed that "while Glass is currently in the hands of a small group of Explorers," the company said, "we find that when people try it for themselves, they better understand the underlying principle that it's not meant to distract, but rather connect people more with the world around them."

"I'm not against Google or Google Glass. It may have a place in society," said Delaware state representative Joseph Miro, primary sponsor of a bill banning texting while driving and Google Glass behind the wheel. "My issue is that while you are driving, you should have nothing that is going to impede the concentration of the driver."

The search engine is mindful of what a possible distraction that Google Glass may be. Google has recently posted advice to Glass Explorers on how to be good members of society while wearing the device. Spelled out in its post, Google said that "above all, even when you're following the law, don't hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road," and apparently believes this admonishment is sufficient to prevent accidents.

by MacNN Staff



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