Design Engine
Training Classes/Tutorials for Designers, Engineers, & 3D Professionals


Google+

Ideas, Thoughts, Perspectives

June 11th, 2015

New Car Technology May Prevent Drunk Driving Soon

The US Department of Transport (DOT) estimates that nearly 10,000 people every year are killed by alcohol-related crashes. What if there was a way to save about 7,000 of those lives? According to the DOT this is possible and they are developing two types of alcohol sensors – one that is similar to a regular Breathalyzer sensor and will be positioned inconspicuously on the steering wheel, and the other will use infrared light to scan the skin and determine the driver’s blood alcohol concentration.

Drunk driving is prevalent all across the world and many times people may not even realize how intoxicated they are – this new technology could solve the question people ask themselves “Am I okay to drive?” Since the legal limit for the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or below 0.08, it will still be acceptable to have a few drinks with dinner and be able to drive home. If the BAC reaches above 0.08, the car will not start and the driver will need to find another way home.

This new technology is still being tested and in the development stage, but should be ready to go by 2020

This new technology is still being tested and in the development stage, but should be ready to go by 2020

As with all new technologies, there are sure to be glitches. What if the driver is sober and is detected to be drunk? Even traditional breathalyzers have a tendency to make mistakes and not always be so accurate. Yet, Bud Zaouk, who is head of this in-car alcohol detection system project and director of transportation solutions at QinetiQ North America says that, “It doesn’t require contact, or even a deep breath, you just breath normally in it’s direction.” Along with it being extremely accurate and fast, this type of system only requires calibration once in it’s lifetime. As for the skin scanning system, there will be an infrared light that shines through the skin to measure the alcohol content found in the tiny blood vessels of a person’s finger or palm. The idea is to make these sensors undetectable to the naked eye and therefore they can either be embedded into the steering wheel or on the stop-start ignition button – parts of the vehicle the driver will have to touch anyways in order to drive the car. The researchers behind these projects understand that some drunk drivers may try to cheat the system and use a passenger to unlock their car if they are intoxicated. To prevent that, they are also developing a “driver presence detector” which generates a signal while the person is pressing the button (or has his/her hand on the steering wheel) to make sure the person pressing the button is in fact, the driver and not someone else.

It’s highly unlikely that this sort of technology will be something that is mandatory anytime soon, but having it be an option for purchase in your vehicle may still save many innocent lives. It could especially come in handy for teenagers and young adults, knowing that they don’t always make the best decisions when it comes to drinking and driving.

Although most of us love all the latest gadgets, technology shouldn’t only be fun and games – which is why at Design Engine we love to see the advancement of technology making the world a better place for our generation and the generations to come. What do you think – can a car alcohol detector become something everyone will have in his/her car?

 

Article Written by Mila Medonaite for Design Engine, June 11, 2015


About the Author

Design-Engine





Design Engine Industrial Design Training Pro Engineer
 
 

 

Proterra’s Electric Bus Breaks World Record, Traveling 1,102 Miles on A Single Charge

California-based company Proterra believes their electric buses could be another step towards removing our reliance on fossil fuels. Proterra’s Catalyst E2 Max Electric bus set a new world record for the longest distance trav...
by Mila Medonaite
0

 
 

Eviation Unveils All-Electric Private Jet

Eviation Aircraft released the first prototype of an all-electric airplane. Named the “Alice”, the zero-emission aircraft has the capacity to carry nine passengers and two crew members and has a range of roughly 600 miles. ...
by Mila Medonaite
0

 
 

The Proposed Improvements to Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive

A fresh set of renderings for the transformation of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive have been revealed. The new plan calls for a 70-acre park extending out into Lake Michigan as well as upgrades to the beaches at Oak Street and Oh...
by Mila Medonaite
0

 

 

Event Showcase: Humanscale’s “Beyond Sustainability” Discussion

The 4th floor of the Soho House set the scene for a thoughtful and compelling presentation about sustainability in furniture design. The presenter was Jon Strassner, Director of Workplace Strategy at Humanscale. A LEED Accredit...
by Bart
0

 
 

Elon Musk Believes Artificial Intelligence is The Biggest Threat We Face as a Civilization

Billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX Elon Musk sees artificial intelligence as the biggest threat to humanity. Musk, speaking at the National Governors Association on Saturday, explained, “There certainly will be job disruptio...
by Mila Medonaite
0

 



0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


You must be logged in to post a comment.