In the eye of the beholder: A simulator study of the impact of Google Glass on driving performance

Kristie L. Young, Amanda Stephens, Karen Lesley Stephan, Geoffrey William Stuart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined whether, and to what extent, driving is affected by reading text on Google Glass. Reading text requires a high level of visual resources and can interfere with safe driving. However, it is currently unclear if the impact of reading text on a head-mounted display, such as Google Glass (Glass), will differ from that found with more traditional head-down electronic devices, such as a dash-mounted smartphone. A total of 20 drivers (22-48 years) completed the Lane Change Test while driving undistracted and while reading text on Glass and on a smartphone. Measures of lateral vehicle control and event detection were examined along with subjective workload and secondary task performance. Results revealed that drivers' lane keeping ability was significantly impaired by reading text on both Glass and the smartphone. When using Glass, drivers also failed to detect a greater number of lane change signs compared to when using the phone or driving undistracted. In terms of subjective workload, drivers rated reading on Glass as subjectively easier than on the smartphone, which may possibly encourage greater use of this device while driving. Overall, the results suggest that, despite Glass allowing drivers to better maintain their visual attention on the forward scene, drivers are still not able to effectively divide their cognitive attention across the Glass display and the road environment, resulting in impaired driving performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-75
Number of pages8
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Driver distraction
  • Google Glass
  • Head mounted display
  • Lane Change Test

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