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Science & Technology

Cars may soon refuse to go if you are drunk

June 9, 2015 | Comment icon 41 comments

What if your car could simply refuse to move if it thought you were intoxicated ? Image Credit:
A new automated alcohol detection system may soon be making drink-driving physically impossible.
Alcohol and cars are two things that do not mix, so much so that researchers have spent years looking for increasingly effective ways to prevent drink-driving related accidents.

This month however the ultimate solution to the problem may have finally been found.

Unveiled by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the system works by sampling the driver's breath as they get in to the car and analyzing it to see if they are over the limit.
If the driver is below the limit then the car will allow them to drive off as usual, but if they have had too much the car will literally refuse to function, rendering the inebriated driver unable to go anywhere.

The car will also stop working if it detects that a driver under 21 has been drinking anything at all.

While it seems doubtful that the system will ever become mandatory for all vehicles it certainly has the potential to avoid a great many alcohol-fueled accidents.

A video explaining in detail how the whole thing works can be viewed below.

Source: | Comments (41)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #32 Posted by Bavarian Raven 6 years ago
I predict in the next 20 years it will be illegal to drive in most of the developed world. Cars will drive themselves, it will be safer, faster, and you'll be able to get as drunk as you like. And when accidents do happen it'll be a heck of a lot worse and more deadly. :/
Comment icon #33 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
Google's self-driving car logged over 700,00 miles without an incident. 700,000!! I would trust a car with those stats long before I'd trust a human driver who gets distracted, tired, hungry, etc Much like with planes, it's the safest way to travel according to the numbers - but when something goes wrong, it goes REALLY wrong Under what kind of conditions? On open roads or closed courses?
Comment icon #34 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
Just thought of something. The Google car is the car from Demolition Man that Stallone pounded on until it let him drive.
Comment icon #35 Posted by Myles 6 years ago
I like to drive, no way I'm giving it up.
Comment icon #36 Posted by BeastieRunner 6 years ago
I like to drive, no way I'm giving it up. Maybe someday in the future if you fail your test and/or fail to requalify, get too many tickets, cause too many accidents, etc. you can't drive anymore and manual pilot mode is off. I'd be okay with that. Driving is a privilege, not a right.
Comment icon #37 Posted by Still Waters 6 years ago
I think a car that won't go if the driver is drunk, is an excellent idea. A person who's drunk has no business being on the roads, even if they don't care about themselves they're a danger to everyone else. If the car won't move to start with, it's possible at least one person will live to see another day.
Comment icon #38 Posted by scaniaman 6 years ago
volvo offered this technology in their european trucks a few years ago, you had to breath into a tube, if it detected higher than legal alchol limits, the vehicle would not start.
Comment icon #39 Posted by Waziya Sioux 6 years ago
Not going because youre drunk is old news I worked with a guy 5 years ago , his car would not start if he was drunk ..
Comment icon #40 Posted by H132 6 years ago
Too bad this would never work.
Comment icon #41 Posted by CJ1983 6 years ago
Too much cost, too many laws would have to pass, older cars would have to be grandfathered in, it'll never happen.

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