Toyota developing anti-drunk driving gadget

August 31, 2009
A Toyota Motors engineer blows into a hand-held breathalyser and camera unit during a press preview by Toyota Motors on their breath-alcohol ignition-interlock system in Tokyo, August 31. Toyota said Monday it was developing the anti-drunk driving equipment that would lock the ignition of a vehicle if high levels of alcohol are detected in the driver.

Toyota Motor said Monday it was developing anti-drunk driving equipment that would lock the ignition of a vehicle if high levels of alcohol are detected in the driver.

The system features a hand-held breathalyser, equipped with a digital camera, that detects alcohol consumption and photographs the driver's face for identification, a company statement said.

If the driver tests positive, the system either warns him or her, or locks the vehicle's ignition depending on the level of alcohol detected, Toyota said.

The carmaker is conducting tests with affiliate truck maker Hino Motors, and will install the equipment in selected trucks and other vehicles of fleet customers that include companies and government organisations.

The device will alert fleet administrators if the driver is detected with excessive levels, Toyota said.

Nissan Motor is currently developing similar equipment. In the United States, certain states earlier this year passed legislation requiring drunk driving offenders to install breathalyser locks in their cars.

(c) 2009 AFP

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6 comments

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jtdrexel
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2009
And there's a car that will have a tough time selling.
Nik_2213
3 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2009
Oops, what about screen-wash with de-icer ? What about pasengers reeking of lotion ??

Also, IIRC, last time something like this was tried, a drunk driver persuaded his under-age passenger to blow into the whatsit...
El_Nose
3 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2009
it sounds like a good idea until a company VP is taken out by business partners and then cannot drive home and his boss is notified and everyone agrees -- this is a bit too much.

But the legislation is a huge hinderenss -- the fine is huge and your lisence is suspended -- but then you have to have a device installed in your car that is horrible -- how much does this device cost and how much to install -- it sounds like lobbyists got to the state legislators
Duude
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2009
I wonder if the vehicle is limited to identifying one driver, or more? And if more, how would one add a new driver? Would the vehicle's computer be programmed to recognize a driver holding a picture and how would it react to a battery powered hair dryer? Would be harder to beat if the vehicle also read the driver's DNA, but that would likely raise the cost of the vehicle considerably.
UFORocks
not rated yet Aug 31, 2009
Easy people, this is clearly meant for fleet vehicles, and special cases where it's mandated by the court for passenger cars.

Something like this would be very useful for a shipping / transportation company.
Towchain
not rated yet Aug 31, 2009
I give it 15 years until cars are driving themselves. No more drunk driving, no more crashes.

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