Automakers Using In-Car Alcohol Detection Systems

Car manufacturers are coming up with a number of new ways to prevent drunk driving through technological advances. Most recently, Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety are being marketed as a primary way to curb drunk driving in an unobtrusive manner within the cabin of the vehicle.

In contrast, of course, is the ignition interlock device.

The idea behind the DADDS is based in shared responsibility for preventing drunk driving. But the question remains whether it should be the responsibility of car manufacturers to spend money on drunk-driving prevention.

As it happens, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and more than a dozen leading auto manufacturers have opted to cooperate with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety and Auto Alliance on this initiative.

The DADDS system is a sophisticated and less conspicuous version of present-day interlock ignition systems. The benefit of DADDS lies not only in its ability to be hidden but its reliability in reading blood alcohol percentages in a very short amount of time. The target of the program is to obtain an accurate reading of a driver's level of intoxication in the same amount of time it takes to start the ignition of any vehicle, which is estimated at about 350 milliseconds.

Distance and touch spectrometry are new options in the search for a manufacture-based technology to reduce drunk driving.

Distance spectrometry is the leading feature for a true and accurate reading that's performed in milliseconds with astonishing accuracy. Distance spectrometry uses the infrared spectrum to draw in the breath and make the reading almost instantaneous. The information is then fed to the hardware and can either disable the ignition or allow the vehicle to be operated.

Touch spectrometry uses infrared light to read blood alcohol levels through the skin. The epidermal reading is done at the steering wheel or the gear shifter which the driver must touch to use the vehicle.

Advocates of this technology say that after it's been fully developed, the next step will be to convince automotive consumers to buy into the technology by purchasing pre-equipped vehicles.

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