QinetiQ North America has developed a sensor that when fitted into a car will prevent intoxicated drivers from even putting their vehicles into motion.
According to Bud Zaouk, when a driver who has had plenty to drink, breathes into the module it will send out signals to the car. The design, which is yet in its nascent stage, could prevent thousands of drivers from dying each year. The sensor 'DADSS' or Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety is still being developed further.
The company is working in collaboration with the federal government to fine tune the technology for public acceptance. Car manufacturers want a solution that will leave no room for errors. According to Shane Karr at the Automobile Alliance, the system will need to be completely accurate and dependable every time.
The company may use one of two options to test drivers at this stage. The first would be a touch sensor to test the driver’s skin electronically and find out if he/she has had drinks within the legal permitted level or not. The second option would resemble a breathalyzer that can be triggered only close to the driver’s seat. This could be an option that parents may like to take to protect their children, as the car would refuse to start if the youngster was under the influence of alcohol. However, it could take more than a decade before the finished product is available in the market.