Smart cars of the near future could refuse to start if the driver exceeds the drink-drive limit, including those from manufacturer Ford. Big Motoring World reviews the latest technology to be trialled in America.
Ford are amongst those working with the American consortium, US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They are working to develop technology which will detect alcohol and prevent those over the limit from driving.
The NHTSA have unveiled a prototype which is fitted with a ‘Driver Alcohol Detection System’, ground-breaking technology which includes a breathalyser in the steering wheel and an engine start button which checks for alcohol in the driver’s blood levels.
Both will operate passively, detecting alcohol levels on the driver when they breathe normally, start the car or touch the steering wheel. This will not be run across all new cars, but it is being pushed forward as an option in the next five years for some cars.
It’s predicted that over 10,000 people die across the USA each year, whilst an estimated 230 people died in the UK in 2012 according to the Department for Transport.
This technology, which could conceivably be built into the driving experience, could become standard within commercial vehicles aided by safety and insurance incentives. But it may prove more difficult to bring into private vehicles across the globe. Some manufacturers have been working on similar technology for the past decade.
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