If an initiative by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is fruitful, then DUI could soon be a thing of the past. The federal administration is collaborating with a number of automakers and industry suppliers to produce a car that would make it impossible for people to drive under the influence of alcohol.
Recently, the coalition announced new developments in the project to develop the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety, a project that the federal administration and its partners have been working on since 2008 alone. The aim of the project is to create a system that can determine if a person operating the car is under the influence of alcohol. However, the device would not require motorists to breathe into the device, like the breathalyzer devices that are currently in use in several states as part of their ignition interlock laws.
Instead, this particular project focuses on identifying drunk driving involving only the driver of the car, and isolated from passengers who may be in the car after having consumed alcohol. The technology collects air, and sends it to infrared sensors located throughout the cabin of the car. These sensors then analyze the ratio of carbon dioxide to alcohol, and determine whether the person behind the wheel is driving under the influence of alcohol. The system zeroes in on the motorist through the strategic location of the sensors in different areas of the cabin.
Another approach that the federal administration is working on as part of the project is a touch-based system, that would embed the sensors in those areas of the car that the driver has to touch in order to operate the car, like the start button, and other surfaces. Alcohol content in the system will be determined by reading the reflected light from the skin.