Texting With Google Glass While Driving Is Only Marginally Safer: Study Photo:

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Trevor Collett | Sep, 30 2014 | 0 Comments

Using the ‘wearable computer’ Google Glass to compose a text message while driving is no safer than using a mobile phone handset to type the message, a new report has found.

The findings come from a University of Central Florida (UCF) study, which concluded that the level of driver distraction caused by each device to perform the task was similar.

But while texting using either device can lead a driver into danger, Google Glass users performed better when it came to regaining control of the vehicle.

“Texting with either a smartphone or Glass will cause distraction and should be avoided while driving” UCF researcher Ben Sawyer said.

“Glass did help drivers in our study recover more quickly than those texting on a smartphone. We hope that Glass points the way to technology that can help deliver information with minimal risk.”

The study involved 40 drivers aged in their 20s, who each ‘drove’ a simulator while texting with either a smartphone or Google Glass.

A vehicle in front of the driver would suddenly display its brake lights, and reaction times were measured and compared to reaction times when drivers weren’t distracted by the task of texting.

Mr Sawyer said texting while driving not only caused longer reaction times to potential danger, but also eroded overall driving skills regardless of which device was being used.

The National Safety Council in the US estimates that 1.6 million collisions in the ‘States are caused by drivers using mobile phones, but many state authorities are yet to adopt clear guidelines on the use of Glass while driving.

A San Diego court dismissed a ticket issued to a US woman for wearing Glass while driving earlier this year, as there was no evidence she was actively using the device at the time.

Despite the current ‘grey areas’, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz at the very least can see a potential future in combining some features from cars with Google Glass.

MORE: Driver Distraction | Mobile Phones | Google

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