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Google Glass – Bad News For Car Insurance Rates?

Close up to hands holding the steering-wheel of a car.

There is a growing movement among several states to regulate the use of Google Glass when a driver is behind the wheel. Google Glass, a new, high-tech wireless device, is basically a tiny computer screen, which is positioned in the corner of an eyeglass frame.

Google Glass looks just like a pair of glasses, but with a huge difference – users can cruise the Internet, check e-mail, take photos just by blinking or listen to music – directly through the Google Glasses. Spoiler alert: This may affect your auto insurance coverage premiums.


Law enforcement officials and highway safety organizations are worried that the devices will increase the problem of distracted driving and contribute to more car crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,060 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. The NHTSA defines a distraction as “anything that takes your eyes off the road, your mind off the road or your hands off the wheel.”  No wonder why car insurance companies are concerned about distractions.

To inform legislators and the public on how the technology works. Google has been conducting Glass presentations around the country. Google has also contacted officials in Illinois, Delaware and Missouri to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass. So far, no states have passed Google Glass restrictions.

The majority of the bills place Google Glass in the same grouping as texting while driving, which is banned in forty-one states. Google Glass also has the ability for hands-free calling and texting, which is generally permitted.


Google Glass specifications

  • 640×360 pixel resolution
  • Provides a picture similar to that of a 25-inch HD display when viewed at a distance of 8 feet.
  • 5 megapixel built-in camera with 720p video capture capacity
  • Audio is delivered through a transducer (an electronic device) which sends the sound vibrations directly through the small bones located in the ear
  • 16GB of storage memory (4GB used by the software)


Connecting cars with technology

Hyundai Motors is getting ready to jump on the Google bandwagon, developing a new Google Glass app for their Genesis model to access functions (even when the driver is not in the car), with the following capabilities:

  • Remote ignition
  • Remote door unlock
  • Search for nearest gas station
  • Search for vehicle’s location with the “Find My Car” feature
  • Call for roadside assistance or talk to a Blue Link agent
    • Access to vehicle health reports, diagnostic and maintenance alerts, temperature and HVAC controls

Will new technologies such as Google Glass make our roads more dangerous and cause more distracted driving accidents and lead to higher car insurance rates?  We’ll just have to wait and see.


Do you think Google Glass should be banned when driving? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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