CARMAKERS, FEDS, BACK HIGH-TECH DRUNK DRIVING DETECTOR

Automakers and the U.,S. Department of Transportation have extended a five-year partnership to develop alcohol detection equipment that can help prevent intoxicated people from driving a vehicle.

This non-invasive system will be able to determine when a driver has a blood alcohol content ( BAC) of 0.08%, which is the limit in all 50 states. The device will be unobtrusive to the driver and is activated with the ignition switch.

According to National Highway Transportation Agency Administrator David Strickland, “In this age of innovation, smart technology might be the breakthrough we need to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and endangering the safety of others on our roads.”

By early 2015, the agency hopes to have a research vehicle that incorporates two technological approaches to measure BAC: touch based and breath based. Research using laboratory-scale prototypes is underway, while testing on-road prototype devices is expected within the next few years.

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