A Google Glass user who received the first traffic citation in the United States for driving while using Google's computer-in-an-eyeglass, better known as Google Glass, pleaded not guilty in San Diego court on Tuesday to what is believed to be the first traffic citation ever for a Google Glass user. “Cecilia Abadie, 44, is believed to be the first driver in the nation to have received a ticket for wearing Google's computer-in-eyewear,” reported the Los Angeles Times on Dec. 3, 2013.
Cecilia Abadie from Temecula in California is one of only about 10,000 Google Glass users who were chosen to try out an early version of Google Glass. Most of the 10,000 Google Glass participants, some teachers, dentists, doctors, radio disc jockeys, hair stylists, architects, athletes and even a zookeeper, were selected as part of a contest.
New Google Glass participants can apply for becoming a Google Glass "Explorer" when a spot opens up in The Glass Explorer Program.
"The Explorer Program launched earlier this year and is designed for people who want to get involved early and help shape the future of Glass. We’re expanding The Explorer Program little by little, and experimenting with different ways of bringing new Explorers into the program. If you’re a US resident and are interested in joining, you can sign up here and we’ll let you know if a spot opens up — please note that, while we’d like to invite everyone, we can’t guarantee invites right now."
Google Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD) that is being developed by Google. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format that can communicate with the Internet via natural language voice commands. The Google Glass, which is expected to be widely available to the public in 2014, features a thumbnail-size transparent display above the right eye.
While Google Glass is not yet on the market, Cecilia Abadie is one of the lucky 10,000 “Explorers” chosen to try out the new innovative product.
On Oct. 29, 2013, Cecilia Abadie was driving north on Interstate 15 in northern San Diego County when she was stopped by a California Highway Patrol. The CHP officer wrote Cecilia Abadie a ticket for allegedly driving 80 mph in a 65-mph zone and for wearing a Google Glass.
The CHP officer issued the ticket as a violation of Vehicle Code 27602 which states that it is a violation to drive a vehicle "if a television receiver, a video monitor, or a television or video screen" is visible.
After having received a ticket for violation of Vehicle Code 27602, Cecilia Abadie posted the following on her public Google+ account:
"A cop just stopped me and gave me a ticket for wearing a Google Glass while driving!
The exact line says: Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass).
Is #GoogleGlass ilegal while driving or is this cop wrong???
Any legal advice is appreciated!! This happened in California. Do you know any other #GlassExplorers that got a similar ticket anywhere in the US?"
Unfortunately, it appears that Cecilia Abadie is the first and only United States driver who has been cited for driving with a Google Glass.
According to her attorney, William Concidine, Cecilia Abadie’s Google Glass was not on when she was driving but only turned on as she looked up at the CHP officer. "There is nothing illegal about simply wearing the Google Glass while it is not turned on."
To demonstrate the ease of a Google Glass responding to commands, Cecilia Abadie told San Diego’s 10News in an interview that all she had to do is move her eyes or issue a simple verbal command. “, "I like it a lot. As you can see, I'm wearing it but it's not intrusive at all. It's not bothering our conversation, not limiting my sight but if I need it … I want to take a picture; I say, 'Glass, take a picture.' and boom, I got you."
On Tuesday, Cecilia Abadie, whose Google Plus account stated that she works for San Diego-based Full Swing Golf, Inc., pleaded not guilty in San Diego traffic court to charges of speeding and driving with a monitor visible to the driver.
In addition to his argument that his client’s Google Glass was not turned on when she was driving, attorney William Concidine also plans to argue during the trial that is set for January that since Vehicle Code 27602 was written before Google Glass was even invented, the code does not apply to Google Glass and the citation should be invalid. “The law states that the device must ‘be operating’ to warrant a citation.”
"We're going to be arguing that Miss Abadie's case is unique, it's different, the first of its kind. And there is nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass while driving."