Cars of the future to decide if driver is drunk. Nevermind taking away your keys

on 31/01/11 at 3:55 pm

Booze News

Future technology may put the brakes on drunk drivers and save many lives as researchers in Massachusetts are developing a system that will prevent a car from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol level is higher than the legal limit.

The new technology, known as the Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety, would use sensors that would measure blood alcohol content of the driver in two possible ways, by analysing a driver’s breath or through the skin, using sophisticated touch-based sensors situated in places like steering wheels and door locks.

If the system detects the blood alcohol content in a person to be above the legal limit of .08, the vehicle would not start. The technology, being developed by research and development facility QinetiQ North America Inc in conjunction with companies in Sweden and New Mexico, would be optional for car manufacturers.

QinetiQ engineers said that unlike court-ordered breath-analyser ignition locks, which require a driver to blow into a tube and wait a few seconds for the result, their systems will analyse a driver’s blood-alcohol content in less than one second.

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