Google Glass A Driver Distraction Cause or Cure?

  • Published: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 0018720814555723, 2014
  • Authors: Sawyer, B. D., Finomore, V. S., Calvo, A. A., & Hancock, P. A.
  • Date Added: 28 Mar 2015
  • Last Update: 28 Mar 2015
  • Format: html


Assessed the driving distraction potential of texting with Google Glass (Glass), a mobile wearable platform capable of receiving and sending short-message-service and other messaging formats.


Asked drivers in a simulator to drive and use either Glass or a smartphone-based messaging interface, then interrupted them with an emergency brake event. Both the response event and subsequent recovery were analyzed.

Twenty-four female and 16 male participants ( N = 40; mean age = 20.47 years, SD = 4.76) were recruited from the university undergraduate population. On average, participants had been driving 4.54 years (SD = 4.65). All were over 18 years of age, having both a valid driver’s license and normal or corrected-to-normal vision.

Key Findings:

  • Glass-delivered messages served to moderate but did not eliminate distracting cognitive demands.

  • A potential passive cost to drivers merely wearing Glass was also observed.

  • Messaging using either device impaired driving as compared to driving without multitasking