Bad News Explorers As Study Suggests Google Glass Not Safer Than Texting While Driving


We all know it's not the best idea to drink and drive or drug and drive. Everyone is also aware that you are not supposed to text and drive although I'm pretty sure a lot of you out there probably still do it. Tut tut. But it now seems it's also not a good idea to do Glass and drive. No, this is not a reference to Breaking Bad or Crystal Meth but instead to the other Glass…you know, Google's one.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Central Florida UCF) found drivers wearing Glass were no better at responding to emergency situations then those texting with smartphones. One might think (and Google might claim) as Glass is hands-free drivers would be better equipped to respond but according to the study this is simply not the case. The researchers tested 40 participants using a driving simulator and measuring the participants reactions (slamming on breaks to avoid an accident) while using Glass or their smartphones. The results suggested Glass wearers (aka Explorers) did not respond any better (or quicker) than those using their actual smartphone. However, it was not all bad. The results did show that Explorers were able to regain control of the vehicle (following the accident) much quicker and effectively than the smartphone users. As Ben Sawyer (UCF researcher) noted "While Glass-using drivers demonstrated some areas of improved performance in recovering from the brake event, the device did not improve their response to the event itself". Another very interesting finding from the study was Explorers tended to follow much closer to the cars ahead (tailgating) than smartphone users. It was not clear as to whether this was a product of depth-perception when wearing Glass or Explorers simply paying more attention to Glass than smartphone users did to their phones. Either way it is an interesting observation.


So there you go folks. The results are in…at least for now. Using Glass while driving does not seem to be any better than using your smartphone. So for all you Explorers out there it might be best to try and avoid driving while under the influence of Glass. For everyone else, if you see someone driving while Glassing then I guess you have another reason to start hitting that horn. Either way, on Glass or not, drive safe boys and girls.

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Freelance Contributor

John has been writing about and reviewing tech products since 2014 after making the transition from writing about and reviewing airlines. With a background in Psychology, John has a particular interest in the science and future of the industry. John also covers much of the news surrounding audio and visual tech, including cord-cutting, the state of Pay-TV, and Android TV. Contact him at [email protected]

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