Head-up displays like Google Glass were supposed to make it safer for drivers to multitask. Instead of reaching for a phone to send or receive a text, a driver would be able to read projected messages and dictate replies without taking their hands off the wheel.
But groups like Consumers Union and the National Safety Council have cautioned that hands-free, voice-based interfaces can still be dangerously distracting. New research is confirming their fears.
A peer-reviewed study conducted at the University of Central Florida in partnership with the Air Force Research Laboratory compared how 40 twenty-something-year-old drivers in a car simulator reacted to a vehicle ahead of them that slammed on the breaks. Researchers found subjects who were exchanging messages using Google Glass or a smartphone were equally slow to respond.
“While Glass-delivered messaging has benefits, it does not in any way make driving-while-messaging safe,” said lead researcher Ben D. Sawyer.
Wearers of Google Glass did appear to recover more quickly after the near crash, but they also left less distance between their car and cars ahead, suggesting that Glass reduced their perception of risk
Seriously? Of course Google Glass will still distract the driver… This shouldn’t have required a huge review to decide on this.