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Driving While Geeky: Gal Ticketed for Google Glass Takes California Cops to Court

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cecilia
Credit: Cecelia Abadie

Cecilia Abadie appeared in court today to contest a ticket she received for driving while wearing Google Glass. The tech entrepreneur was dinged on October 30 under a California law that prohibits operating a motor vehicle while "a monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver." She was also speeding.

The case is being watched closely for hints about how courts will treat the novel tech:

"It's a big responsibility for me and also for the judge who is going to interpret a very old law compared with how fast technology is changing," said Abadie, who wears Google Glass up to 12 hours a day.

Adabie says her wearable computer was off while she was driving—or at least her lawyer says that there's no way the highway patrol could tell if itwas on—but let's be honest: People will be driving while using Google Glass very very soon, if they aren't already. There are about 30,000 headsets in operation right now, with a broader release expected soon. 

In at least three states—Delaware, New Jersey, and West Virginia—driving while Google Glassed may soon be explicitly illegal. 

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that all this is likely the tip of the iceberg

Hyundai, the South Korean automaker, is already integrating technology that will allow Google Glass to interact with its new-generation Genesis sedan. According to a Stuff.com.nz report, Hyundai's new Blue Link application will allow drivers to access service information and start their car using the eyepiece.

In the end, though, Google (like beer) may be the cause of and solution to all of life's problems. The whole thing could be a moot point in a couple of years when we start getting around in Google's self-driving cars, or at least being shuttled from place to place in black cabs summoned using our Google Glass via the Google-funded Uber car service.

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  1. This case will set precedent for future issues involving androids and Borg.

    1. Resistance is futile.

    2. Kirk would have stayed with the Borg and made himself king.

      1. No, Kirk would have banged the Borg Queen but ultimately resisted her attempts to get him to join her.

        He would then kill her, briefly become Borg King, and then liberate all the Borg drones because Kirk believes in two things: alien poon and freedom.

        1. Hmm…I would think that Kirk would destroy the Borg gestalt through some kind of jawing where he pointed out logical inconsistencies in their philosophies. This would cause short-circuiting of the collective, and all the newly freed Borg (including Alice Krige) would love and follow Kirk as he then rallied them to take back Ceti Alpha V.

      2. Kirk would have been assimilated, and the rescue attempt would have resulted in the assimilation of the rest of the Enterprise because the Borg would have adapted to the Vulcan neck pinch.

        1. If Kirk was assimilated the Borg would be time traveling and prime directive breaking all over the place.

          1. “Prime directive? What Prime Directive? Spock, see that strange spinning probe? Blow it up.”

        2. No, Bones would have discovered a weakness in the biological component of the Borg.

          Meanwhile, Scotty would jury-rig some engineering solution that slows the Borg raiding party down allowing Bones to develop a virus incapacitates the Borg.

          Spock would not be assimilated, he would instead mind-meld with a Borg drone which would have a cascading effect on the entire Cube convincing them to rebel.

          1. Holy shit, Serious is JJ Abrams?!?

            1. Does Bones make the virus out of Khan’s ‘superblood’?

            2. Epi, your words are hurtful.

              1. Thank Jeebus, I was worried I had failed. JJ.

          2. Spock mind-fucking the ENTIRE Borg collective at once: now that’s an idea!

    3. “Bjorn Borg will hear of this!”

      1. borp borp

  2. “a monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver.”

    So GPS devices are illegal in California? I believe that some cars have HUDs. Are those illegal too?

    1. Doesn’t every cop car come equipped with some kind of laptop or other screen so they can pull up driving records and what not?

      1. Ah ha ha ha…cops don’t have to abide by little people rules, you foolish fellow.

        1. Silly me. Maybe another hour in the beating room at the reeducation center will finally help it sink in.

    2. That makes the speedo, tach, and the whole gauge package off limits too. Unless they put in exceptions.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. I guess the only car that can be driven legally in California is the original Ford Model T.

        1. Whoops, never mind, even that had a speedometer.

    3. Yeah, I’ve been wondering about that ever since this woman was arrested and I read that language. WTF?

    4. If we’re using the word ‘display’ I’m pretty sure you could argue that the fucking gas gauge and odometer meet that definition.

      1. Especially if you’re driving a 1982 Toyota Supra.

        1. I especially like how the segmented tach follows the torque curve. Was it calibrated?

          1. As far as I could tell. Fun car to drive.

    5. The wording makes the entire dashboard illegal.

      1. Feature, not a bug in the law. The whole purpose of the legal code is to make everyone a criminal – it is only by the grace and mercy of your po-po overlords that you are still free to gambol around the country. You owe them a big thank you hug.

        1. You owe them a big thank you hug.

          Just be careful that they don’t mistake your attempts to hug them for “FURTIVE MOVEMENTS!!!!” *BLAM, BLAM BLAM*

  3. there’s no way the highway patrol could tell if it was on

    There is usually no evidence you were speeding other than the officers testimony, but guess who gets paid if the officer is taken at his word.

    1. You say “if” for some reason. It should be “when”.

      OT Tech-related bitching: what the fuck has reason done to its site this time? It’s slow to load, has some annoying Shockwave plug-in that crashes my browser, and is somehow less user friendly than before. JFC, Reason, we just want to read your shit! Stop making it difficult.

      1. It rqndomly tqkes me to Google Play and tries to.install something called “CandyCrush” on my phone. Thanks, reason! WTF?

        1. Apparently it also makes you replace a’s with q’s as you type. Bastards… heartless, gutless bastards.

      2. I have plug-ins turned off by default. H&R is still a memory hog, though. So much fucking anti-social networking shit.

        1. Their fishing for a better class of commenter than us curmudgeons.

      3. There’s a special code you get when you subscribe to the magazine that eliminates all those problems.

        Its like a F2P game – its free as long as you don’t mind grind.

  4. Meh, with self driving cars becoming a thing, HUD’s and Google glasses make perfect sense.

  5. “a monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver.”

    Unless there’s some special definition for monitor, screen, or display for purposes of this statute, this pretty much outlaws driving any car made in the last few years. Nearly all of them have some sort of built-in GPS display and electronic monitor in place of the old speed, rpm, etc. gauges. And I guess you can’t leave your iphone in the middle console where it’s visible.

    1. LEt me guess, this law excludes police cars driving without their emergency lights on because cops are highly trained not to be distracted…

    2. Remember, dude, the best laws are the vague ones that leave interpretation and punishment up to the LEOs and prosecutors. From their perspective, this law is the tits.

    3. “a monitor, screen, or display is visible to the driver.”

      A dedicated navigator (Garmin or TomTom) as well as any smartphone with Google Maps is clearly illegal with a straight reading of these words.

    4. 3 felonies a day.

    5. Well, GPS should be illegal anyway because it makes people stupid.

      1. No, it just seems that way because it encourages people who were already stupid to drive.

        1. I’m semi-joking, but I do have several otherwise pretty smart friends who have become completely useless when it comes to knowing how to get places since they got GPS in their cars.

          But I’m not exactly what you’d call an early adopter of technology. I still don’t regularly use a cell phone and I like to look at a map and know where I am going and how I am going to get there before I set off.

          1. I’ll bet they were useless at directions before, but made extra efforts because they had no alternative. Every now and then you read about some guy getting his car stuck on train tracks, or driving down a boat ramp because he was obeying his GPS. This always happens to people who had a terrible sense of direction long before GPS was around for them to blame it on.

            1. I have an absolutely terrible sense of direction and even I don’t trust the GPS. Luckily I am incredibly good at memorizing routes that’s I’ve been on as little as a single time. But then of course, before GPS I had to be (I also always bought detailed maps of my area regardless).

          2. This will probably blow your mind, but before GPS I was good at directions, and I use GPS now on any trip more than about 5 miles, EVEN WHEN I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING!

            Every day to work, so I can monitor the live traffic feed. You wouldn’t believe how many times that has saved me from sitting in an hour long traffic jam.

  6. someone help me here: how is driving around with one of these things on good? I see people swerving like drunks while texting, being almost as distracted while talking on phones, and can’t imagine how someone wearing Google glass is someone I shouldn’t be wary of on the road.

    Not looking for law enforcement, not even asking a legal question, just a practical one.

    1. sorry for the triple post. Clearly, not a candidate for Google glass.

    2. how is driving around with one of these things on good?

      How is driving with a Garmin a good thing?

      How is driving with a smartphone and Google Maps a good thing?

      How is driving with a built-in stereo system a good thing?

      Lets stipulate that distracted drivers are bad. Why they are distracted is not the problem. Unless you want to argue that some specific technology is so compelling that it would make an otherwise responsible driver into a distracted driver, the technology is not the problem. Certain classes of people are the problem.

      1. the logistics of this are different. It has to obscure part of your field of vision. Again, just asking from the perspective of the other guy on the road.

        1. You can use google glass to tape what’s going on, etc. You don’t necessarily have to have any visible stuff obscuring your vision. It has other functions.

        2. It has to obscure part of your field of vision.

          It does not obscure the normal line of sight. You must look up to see the image.

          1. fair enough….it’s why I am just asking.

            1. glad to have been of service.

      2. Certain classes of people are the problem.

        Living in the big city I don’t get into cars very often, but lately when I do I have noticed that drivers are *way* more distracted than in the olde days.

        1. Seattle drivers are already epically terrible, but I would say that at least 70% of the people who I whip past and look at because they’re driving terribly or slowly or not reacting to light changes are playing with their phone. At least 70%.

      3. I’d put visual distractions in a different, much worse category.

        At least GPS has something to do with your actual driving, but I still think they are bad because they turn people into blithering idiots who have no idea where they are or how they got there.

        I hope everyone is clever enough not to assume that I therefore approve of any new legislation on the subject.

      4. Lets stipulate that distracted drivers are bad. Why they are distracted is not the problem.

        I agree. In fact, I might go further and say that it isn’t even distracted driving that is bad, but rather poor/reckless driving. I don’t even think there should be a drunk driving law connected to BAC. I think the reckless driving law encompasses all the reasons (druunk, makeup, eating, Google Glass, etc.) such that specific laws against these activities is unnecessary. If you drive just fine (i.e, not recklessly) with Google Glass, after having a few beers, while eating, or whatever – how is that a problem for the other drivers?

        1. I agree completely. But now someone is going to come tell you that driving drunk is exactly like firing a gun off in random directions in a busy street.

          1. You…you mean Tulpa Classic?

            1. How’d you guess?

              Probably Dunphy too, but he seems to have died or something.

    3. Please note that Google glass is not like a HUD system where you are always looking through a computer image. The image is above the normal line of sight, and the user must look up to see the Google glass image. In all practical means, it is no different that looking down at the speedometer or to the side to check a Garmin.

      1. In all practical means, it is no different that looking down at the speedometer or to the side to check a Garmin.

        Or your cell phone to read a text.

        oh wait…

        1. If the cell phone was in a docking station where it could be read quickly, this would not be a significant distraction.

          Answering texts is the real problem.

          1. It’s not a question of my disagreement, it’s a question about where the law will go. I would bet a non-insignificant chunk of change that much to Ms. Abadie’s chagrin, the law will be updated to reflect the current state of technology, and her shit will be illegal in the next 18-24 months.

            1. They can tie it in to the law making it illegal to vape in cars. Because, kids, or something.

  7. someone help me here: how is driving around with one of these things on good? I see people swerving like drunks while texting, being almost as distracted while talking on phones, and can’t imagine how someone wearing Google glass is someone I shouldn’t be wary of on the road.

    Not looking for law enforcement, not even asking a legal question, just a practical one.

  8. someone help me here: how is driving around with one of these things on good? I see people swerving like drunks while texting, being almost as distracted while talking on phones, and can’t imagine how someone wearing Google glass is someone I shouldn’t be wary of on the road.

    Not looking for law enforcement, not even asking a legal question, just a practical one.

    1. I don’t care if you are distracted by looking at a gps, yelling at your kid in the backseat, watching a video, putting on lipstick or getting a b.j. If you are in an accident and it is your fault, you pay damages. All the rest is b.s. like adds on for so-called “hate” crimes.

    2. True freedom is doing whatever you please.

  9. This is nothing new. I was nabbed before for driving while wearing beer goggles. On the plus side the cop looked kinda cute.

    1. “Hey, baby, what else can you do with those handcuffs?”

      (officer flicks off Taser safety)

      1. How come the lady cops never try to rape guys they pull over?

        1. Well, first you’d need to find a straight lady cop. . . . .

    2. So when he said you could get off without a ticket if you got off on him, you did it?

      1. The cop said, “This will make a clever joke but I’m not sure everyone will get it.”

  10. The new layout on H&R looks clunky.

    1. It said the same thing about you.

      1. I may be clunky but I’m not chunky.

    2. I’d like to suggest that all comments flow sequentially by post time with no provision for inserting them above the last post. In the interest of libertarian outreach, “registration” should consist of just filling in one box with your preferred posting name and no one should have exclusive rights to any name. Emails/websites and such should no be required. The blink and marquee html tags should be enabled as well as smilies, avatars and image posting. These changes would go a long way in improving the H&R user experience.

      1. God no to avatars.

        1. And no smilies either.

      2. You left out the gifs of a busty woman pulling up her jeans.

      3. no one should have exclusive rights to any name.

        Oh, hell no. Spoofing is the Original Sin of commenting.

        1. Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t mean you should do it.

      4. Oh yes, those will make reading this site *soooooo* much better.

        arse

  11. Let’s just hope she wasn’t vaping while driving as well …

  12. Abita’s foray into IPAs is its grapefruit harvest IPA. Typical Abita harvest: drinkable and affordable

    1. Sounds gross but Turbodog is solid.

      1. It’s great for scurvy prevention.

  13. It’s a big responsibility for me and also for the judge who is going to interpret a very old law compared with how fast technology is changing,” said Abadie, who wears Google Glass up to 12 hours a day.

    Wow, this is predictable where this will end up legislatively.

    1. One thing is certain – There’ll be no more toy makers to the king.

  14. My windscreen is always visible.

    1. Maybe you should wash it.

  15. Can google glass take video of officers? Cause we know how that’s going to end.

    1. Yes. So now you can POV your own murder by police while you scream and beg for your life, with an acquittal of the officers several months later. What a time we live in!

      1. Is the Thomas Kelly surveillance video basically a snuff film?

        1. Nah, cuz he didn’t die on camera.

        2. What’re you talking about, Thomas died from lack of oxygen to the brain?

  16. Cecilia Abadie

    NEEEEEERRRRRRD!!!!

  17. She’d be pretty cute if she didn’t have those stupid glasses on.

  18. I have a heads up display (HUD) in my last two cars (Vette and now a Camaro). Technically I’m in violation of this law. This is stupid!

    1. Everyone who has a backup camera (news flash: Federal regs require these now!) is technically in violation of this law.

  19. Good give the idiots yacking on their cell phones a ticket too. Make it $500. Then they might wait till they pull for that all important conversation ( what are you doing, nothing what are you doing)

    1. True freedom means driving while not looking at the road if that’s what’s really important to you personally.

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