Although drunk driving isn’t perhaps the huge problem it was 20-30 years ago, we still, unfortunately, see too many people today still deciding to get behind the wheel of their car when they’ve had one, or several, drinks too many! Yes, although awareness campaigns and police monitoring has had a good effect in both addressing and reducing this problem, it does, sadly, still exist! – What can potentially be done to nearly solve it entirely though?
Well, following a video posted by the ‘DADSS Research Program‘ a new technology has been debuted that may allow for alcohol levels to not only be tested but be integrated as part of a car starting mechanism! – Put simply, if you’re drunk, the car won’t start. And if the car won’t start, we have one less potential drunk driver on the roads!
Although the video below goes into detail surrounding the design, the basic premise is that a light sensor has been created that can specifically read and identify the levels of certain chemicals within the bloodstream. So, in terms of this particular design, we’re clearly looking at (or for) ethanol (alcohol).
Coming built into the cars ‘start’ button, if the reading comes back as too high, the motor will simply refuse to fire up. – In theory, it’s a truly excellent idea. As above, you can’t drunk drive if the car won’t start!. At this point though, you might be wondering why this has taken so long to potentially be set to hit the market. Well, the short answer is that although the technology itself certainly isn’t new, getting it in a form small enough to be integrated within a car has largely proven to be the biggest issue.
With this issue overcome, however, it’s expected that many car manufacturers will look to deploy this (presuming it’s not too expensive) in the near future.
It’s a fantastic idea, albeit one that will possibly have a few teething problems in its introduction. For example, the blood-alcohol allowances vary quite significantly between different countries. Hell, in America it varies by state with some banning it entirely! – Another issue is the fact that those who don’t drink ‘alcohol’ (in terms of a beer or wine) at all often have a trace amount within their system (this can come from something as simple as mouthwash). Additionally, for those who did get this new technology with their shiny new car, I daresay more than a few would be caught out after a couple of pints at their local. – Finally, and as noted earlier, the adoption rate of this new design will ultimately come down to how expensive it will be. Yes, you can’t put a price on the human lives this technology could save, but try telling that to car manufacturers when its inclusion will add another (just for example) $500 onto the cost of creating each individual new vehicle. – Yes, it’s a cost that can be passed onto the consumer, but in terms of affordable cars where you could potentially argue drunk driving is a bigger or more predominant issue, this could be problematic.
On the whole though, if it works, and can be adapted, it sounds like a great idea to me! – What do you think though? – Let us know in the comments!
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