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Google Glass faces pre-launch driving ban

Augmented reality glasses should not be used while driving, according to a report.

UK drivers could be banned from using Google's head-mounted mobile technology, Google Glass, even before it is released to the public.

The hardware is expected to be released for general sale in 2014. However, according to Stuff magazine, the Department for Transport (DfT) has taken pre-emptive action to ban users from wearing them while driving, due to concerns over the potential for distraction.

"We are aware of the impending rollout of Google Glass and are in discussion with the Police to ensure that individuals do not use this technology while driving. It is important that drivers give their full attention to the road when they are behind the wheel and do not behave in a way that stops them from observing what is happening on the road," a DfT spokesperson reportedly told Stuff.

IT Pro contacted the DfT for confirmation of its position, but had not received a reply at the time of publication.

Google Glass is essentially a mobile device, which suggests the potential penalties users could incur for using Google Glass while driving would be the same as using a mobile phone while behind the wheel a 60 fine and a three points on their driving license.

This news will come as a blow to developers who had been working on Google Glass apps specifically for use by drivers, such as GlassTesla, which allows Tesla Model S drivers to get directions or even lock their car using Google's wearable computing technology.

In a statement, Google told IT Pro: "We are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass because new technology always raises new issues. Our Glass Explorer programme, currently only launched in the US, reaches people from all walks of life and will ensure that our users become active participants in shaping the future of this technology."

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