Lobbyists sent to at least three states to argue against distracted-driving legislation.
Google has reportedly deployed lobbyists to at least three states that are considering legislation that would prohibit drivers from wearing Google Glass eyewear while driving.
Representatives are said to have been sent to Illinois, Delaware and Missouri, according to a Reuters report. The company is allegedly arguing that laws targeting the eyewear are premature because the technology has yet to formally arrive on the market. Anyone who currently possesses the equipment is participating in late-stage beta trials before the devices go on sale to the general public.
Google reportedly hired John Borovicka, a former political director for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, to meet with Illinois legislators, including state Senator Ira Silverstein, who introduced a bill to restrict the technology.
Silverstein suggests the company's arguments carry little weight because Google Glass is clearly on track to reach a wide audience in the US. "Who are they fooling?" he said.
At least one driver has already been ticketed for wearing the hardware while driving in California, though the officer cited an existing law that bars anyone from driving with a "monitor visible to driver." The driver claimed the eyewear was turned off, an the charges were later dismissed.
"While Glass is currently in the hands of a small group of Explorers, 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," Google said.
Some automakers appear to agree with Google's position, viewing the wearable computer as a perfect tool for technology integration in vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is considering potential uses, including a way for navigation guidance to seamlessly switch from the vehicle display to the eyewear when someone parks their car and continues toward their destination on foot.
At least eight states are already considering laws specifically targeting such technology. Some of the legislation appears to be receiving support, though none of the bills have been signed into law.