Google is lobbying officials in at least three U.S. states to stop proposed restrictions on driving with headsets such as Google Glass, marking some of the first clashes over the nascent wearable technology.
Google Inc has deployed lobbyists to persuade elected officials in Illinois, Delaware and Missouri that it is not necessary to restrict use of Google Glass behind the wheel, according to state lobbying disclosure records and interviews conducted by Reuters.
Legislators who introduced similar bills this year in three other states, New York, Maryland and West Virginia, say they have not yet been contacted by Google. Officials in New Jersey and Wyoming did not respond to inquiries from Reuters.
Google’s main point to legislators is that regulation would be premature because Google Glass is not yet widely available, the state elected officials say.
Illinois state Senator Ira Silverstein, a Chicago Democrat who introduced a Google Glass restriction bill in December, responded that it was clear the merchandise was heading for the broader public. “Who are they fooling?”
Silverstein said he recently met with Google lobbyists trying to “kill” the bill, a position Silverstein suggested is driven by market considerations for the company.