The Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, which includes Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi, Ford among others have been working with the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since 2008 in the development of a new built-in automotive safety feature that will prevent an inebriated owner to get behind the wheel and drive away the vehicle.
Called the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program, two technology prototypes are under development – one that detects alcohol levels by touch, another by sensing the driver’s breath.
The touch-based system uses near-infrared tissue spectroscopy to detect the level of alcohol in the blood.
If the system detects that the driver’s blood alcohol level (BAC) is above the legal limit, the vehicle will not move.
Current research is also taking into consideration the driver’s interaction with the system.
The coalition’s target is to finish research and development within five years in order to introduce it in future models at the soonest possible time.