New technology has been developed that, if adopted widely enough, would reduce incidences of driving under the influence of alcohol by a huge margin and would “potentially save thousands of lives each year.”
This in-built alcohol-detection technology was unveiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an Executive Branch of the United States’ Department of Transportation. According to them, in 2013 alone there were 10,076 fatalities caused by alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) is a the result of a joint research effort by the NHTSA and an industry consortium. Developing new technology to prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from using their vehicle, effectively and unobtrusively.
The system could work in one of two ways, or both: a steering wheel-mounted breath analyser that extracts alcohol levels from normal breathing via an infrared array, or a blood-alcohol sensor built into the push start button or gear stick would perform its measurements through a beam of light when the driver’s finger is depressed.
The research team’s aim is to continually refine both technologies within the next five years and gain support of vehicle manufacturers to integrate it into their cars.
“Education, awareness and enforcement have succeeded in dramatically reducing drunk driving fatalities, but the advanced technology of DADSS brings enormous potential to save even more lives,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.