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California Court Throws Out Google Glass Traffic Citation

Publication Date: 
January 17, 2014
Source: 
The Seattle Times
Author: 
Julie Watson

Rock Center fellow Vivek Wadhwa comments on the countless possible legal issues that will arise as new technologies change the nature of driving for The Seattle Times. 

A San Diego traffic court threw out a citation Thursday against a woman believed to be the first motorist in the country ticketed for driving while wearing a Google Glass computer-in-eyeglass device.

Commissioner John Blair ruled that Cecilia Abadie was not guilty because she had been cited under a code that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the device was in operation, which the officer did not provide.

...

Legal experts say the ruling does not set a precedent but marks the beginning of a number of cases they expect courts to confront as lawmakers struggle to keep pace with technology. “The fun is just starting,” said Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford Law School.

From driverless cars to wearable devices that can enhance human functions, Wadhwa said, there are a variety of legal questions to be answered. For example, when a Google-operated car is on the road and hits someone, who is responsible: the passenger, car manufacturer or software developer?