The U.S National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) unveiled two systems that are aimed at preventing drunk drivers from operating their cars. The new technology could cause the car to shut down if the blood alcohol level is above the legal limit.
A breathalyzer is mounted on a steering wheel which measures the number of alcohol molecules in the driver’s breath. Another touch-based device measures blood-alcohol levels using infrared tissue scanners. The systems were jointly developed by an industry consortium, involving all the major automakers. The anti-drunk driving feature for ‘smart’ cars was showcased in a YouTube video on Thursday.
The systems can detect Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) higher than 0.08 percent and automatically shuts down the car. The systems were developed by Driver Alcohol Detection Safety System (DADSS), and aims to complete the research within five years, for introducing these systems into the vehicles. The program was launched in 2008 in collaboration with NHTSA and 17 automobile makers.
NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind said that they have unveiled a test vehicle with the DADSS technology, and will examine driver-system interactions. Priced at $400, the new systems are expected to be available in the market in five years, and will be available as an add-on safety option. Rosekind stated that the system has a potential for certain population groups like teen drivers.
However, American Beverage Institute (ABI) claimed that DADSS will do nothing to prevent motor vehicle accidents related to drunk driving. The systems are likely to face objections for incorporating the technology into cars. Widespread adoption of the device is only possible if the device is mandated or it can be or no use to the public. In the US, there are about 30 drunk-driving deaths everyday. DADSS promises that this will be a “powerful new tool” to battle drunk driving.
Check out the video below:
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