Having initially indicated that it would not allow drivers to use Google Glass, the DfT now appears to be changing its position, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
Google Glass is being showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which opens today (7 January).
Smaller than normal spectacles, Google Glass places a small screen just above the right eye. Users can tell the glass to take a picture, record a video and read messages. According to Google it will have the benefit of interacting with the web, but be less intrusive than a mobile phone.
In August 2013 the DfT stated that it was in dialogue with the police “to ensure that individuals do not use this technology while driving”, a decision that was supported by Road Safety GB.
The Sunday Times report says that several technology companies and car manufacturers are poised to announce new software and hardware that will enable drivers to wear spectacles that show directions as well as the car’s speed and information from reversing cameras. Manufacturers say that the ‘smart specs’ will improve safety by giving drivers information without forcing them to glance away at a screen.
The Sunday Times says that the DfT has held talks with Google about ways of legally using the device. It quotes the DfT as saying: “We have met with Google to discuss the implications of the current law for Google Glass.
“Google are anxious their products do not pose a road safety risk and are currently considering options to allow the technology to be used in accordance with the law.”