Google Glass as distracting as texting behind the wheel

Google Glass augmented reality games and phone technology

A recent study has found that this wearable technology is as dangerous as other smartphone uses.

The results of the first scientific study that has been performed in order to compare the use of Google Glass to that of a typical smartphone have now been released and has shown that this wearable technology headset is just as hazardous to drivers as texting behind the wheel on a cell phone.

This comparison research on the augmented reality glasses was conducted at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

What was found was that 40 drivers who had been behind the wheel of a simulator had reduced reaction times both when they were using Google Glass and when they were texting over a smartphone. This was found in a simulation of driving that involved the driver to have to react to a mock traffic incident while using one of these devices in the prescribed manner.

Those behind the wheel of the simulators needed to use Google Glass or a smartphone during this event.

Google Glass augmented reality games and phone technologyThe simulation had drivers use either augmented reality glasses or use a smartphone to send and receive text messages while “driving”. While driving along the virtual road, the vehicle ahead of the drivers would suddenly slam on the breaks. What the results showed was that both the wearable technology and the smartphone based texting activities required the driver to have the same amount of increased reaction time to stop. This, said the research, showed that it is just as dangerous to use voice activated texting using AR glasses as it is to use a regular smartphone screen.

The only difference between texting with these two forms of technology was that the wearables were able to recover more quickly from the simulated event than those using a smartphone to send and receive texts. That said, ahead of the traffic incident, as well as when it happened, both types of device led to the same amount of decreased awareness of the traffic around the vehicle when compared to drivers that did not have either device.

It is estimated that texting on smartphones while behind the wheel leads directly to around 1.6 million crashes on the road every year. Now, as Google Glass and other wearable technology headsets and glasses, many states in the U.S. are looking to ban the use of these technologies by drivers.

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