People have said that Google Glass would be distracting since day one, not just for people looking at the Glassholes but also for the Glassholes themselves who have that tiny screen always blinking in front of their faces. We certainly don't want to put them behind the wheel. Right?! Mercedes-Benz begs to differ.
Wired reports that the German automaker is currently working with Google to integrate Glass into its cars' navigation and infotainment systems. They're calling it "Door-to-Door Navigation," and they mean that literally. And it actually sounds quite safe.
The working prototype is simple enough. Dial up some directions through Google Glass while you're walking out the door. Hop in your car, plug in your phone and the directions are beamed over to the Mercedes' in-dash navigation system which will take you to your destination. Once you arrive, unplug your phone and the rest of the directions are beamed back to Google Glass to take you to the door at the end of your journey. Get it? Door-to-door navigation.
This order of operations should quell some anxiety about using Glass behind the wheel, which is probably going to be illegal in more than a few states. In effect, the Glass integration is just improving the car's existing navigation system and doing so in a way that doesn't require the driver to stare at the Glass display while driving. Wired's Damon Lavrinc isn't so sure that would be a bad thing, though. He wrote earlier this year:
What's more dangerous behind the wheel? Constantly checking and poking a small smartphone screen stuck to your dash or tucked away in a cup-holder, or simply glancing up -- through a transparent screen directly in your field of view -- to see when to make your next turn.
Even built-in systems designed by automakers aren't much better, with small touch points, horrid user interfaces and finicky voice controls.
And who knows. Maybe Glass will adopt some of those features to bring a true second screen experience to the car. For now, Mercedes is keeping it simple enough. Because Mercedes supports the iPhone, not Android, all of the connectivity happens through Mercedes own cloud servers, but Mercedes plans to have Android integration ready by next year. Until then, don't text and drive. [Wired]