On the Road with Rick Sare — and Google Glass

By on June 29th, 2017 in Interview, Magazine Articles, Societal Impact

Rick Sare is an American long-haul freight truck driver. When he is not at work, driving, he lives in Orlando, FL. He was interviewed by Alexander Hayes on March 26, 2014, via Google Hangouts. Hayes, the interviewer, is a Ph.D. scholar at the University of Wollongong, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences (EIS), School of Information Systems & Technology (SISAT), Wollongong, Australia. The complete interview is available on YouTube athttps://youtu.be/35JMBwroiyM?list=PLfhVHi9gqg5TLDTvvpVbI89NI5EJirTw8. An excerpt of the interview follows.

Rick Sare: I drive trucks, so I use a CB radio…that state [Illinois] tried to outlaw CB radios — because it is not hands free. It didn’t work.

The way Google Glass works, when you first come into these states – West Virginia, Illinois, Wyoming – the ones that are trying to ban it – there are little signs on the side of the road that say “Hands Free Only.” And it really doesn’t get any more hands free than that [Google Glass]. I get a text message in. “Ok Glass, read aloud.” It reads it. “OK, reply.” And it sends it.

It really doesn’t get more hands free than Google Glass.

I had a police officer pull me over in Kentucky about two weeks ago, for safety checks. When I first started getting pulled over for safety checks, I wouldn’t have my glasses on. I’d set them in the passenger seat. And as the officer walked up, I would put them on.

Now I am to the point where I just wear them. The police are not really enforcing it….I don’t know. They are more curious about it, and our Department of Transportation people they’re more curious, and they try it on. And I have not had any problems. I’ve been reading the [media] articles and I sure hope it doesn’t become illegal. Because, it has saved my life. I can honestly say it has saved my life, and kept me from being in the hospital two times this winter – in the same state that is trying to ban it. All in all, I haven’t had any problem with law enforcement, as a truck driver anyway. A personal vehicle … I don’t know if they’re going to – because, I drive down the road and every car that passes me – every car, some days – they’re on the cell phone, or they’re texting or changing their music. I see police officers passing me with their laptop computers – on Google – driving. And this [Glass] is – it’s so much safer, having it right there. And I just think, well, I don’t know, if it’s the lobbying, or if it’s the Congressmen not getting enough money – I don’t know why they are trying to do this.

Alexander Hayes: Well what is your view on what happened to Cecilia Abadie who has connected us here. I mean, with the police – are we likely to see laws perhaps universally that change because of the rollout of Google Glass or is this just yet another technology?

Rick Sare: It’s another technology. I don’t even find it as useful. There is a lot of people that say it’s safe to drive with and a lot of people who say it’s not safe to drive with. I don’t even have my glasses on right now but I still reach for them because I think they are there. And I keep looking up even though they are not on. That’s how unobtrusive they are as I don’t even know if they are there or not there. What Cecilia got pulled over for, from all the articles I’ve read….I’ve never talked to her about it specifically…we just kind of chat periodically on Google Plus. The officer just noticed that she had Glass on, and with that law that California has about “no screens” and the driver’s view. He figured he would write her up for it. Well I am glad she was the first person and not me, because I wouldn’t know what to do. I don’t know how to hire a lawyer. And me, I would be out of state so I am glad it was her – she’s kind of our hero. Like she’s – what a great person, an app developer and everything else. I’m glad it got thrown out. I think the law is going to change. They are working on the old GPS laws and stuff. The laws have not been updated for the technology that is getting ready to come. The technology changes every day. I mean we are getting, we will go from the Pebbles (Smart Watch) and new Motos, the LGs, and watches coming out, and the Sony glasses. It’s going to change, and in five years who knows where we are going to be, and we are going to have to change the laws again.

Alexander Hayes: Speaking about laws and change…and things that are happening in your industry…if we focus on your industry side of things…what are the unions that you are part of saying about this technology…or….has it been mentioned anywhere within your key areas of contact?

Rick Sare: No….actually…they don’t even….they’re focused on other things. I’m the only truck driver that has them that I can find. I’ve been searching and I’ve been searching the Internet and all over Google Plus. I don’t think they are focused on it because there is only one of us right now. I live in a non-union state, a [right-to-work] state so we really don’t have unions. But the rest of the United States – I go to the truck stops – or anywhere – they just look at me funny, and don’t know what it is. They think it is a Bluetooth for your ear. They just think it is a new type of Bluetooth. So nobody really knows what is.

My employer knows. My boss – he didn’t know what it was at first, but he’s pretty much embraced it. And he is letting me go with it as I have over 75000 safe miles right now, and I’m trying to break the 100 000 mile mark safe driving with Glass and he supports me 100 percent.


Alexander Hayes, University of Wollongong, Australia.