Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety By QinetiQ (And PKD)
The Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety is a system for cars that would decide whether or not you've had too much too drink - and deny your driving privileges if it thinks you're over the limit.
There are some existing systems that require drivers to blow into a tube; see these articles on the Ignition Interlock (required for NY drunk drivers), the Toyota Ignition Breathalyzer Lock and even a robot teddy bear.
The Driver Alcohol Detection Systems for Safety system, however, can use sensors on steering wheels and door locks to determine your blood alcohol level via skin contact.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood visited QinetiQ North America, a Waltham, Mass.-based research and development facility, for the first public demonstration of systems that could measure whether a motorist has a blood alcohol content at or above the legal limit of .08 and – if so – prevent the vehicle from starting.
David Strickland, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also attended the demonstration and estimated the technology could prevent as many as 9,000 fatal alcohol-related crashes a year in the U.S., though he also acknowledged that it was still in its early testing stages and might not be commercially available for 8-10 years.
The systems would not be employed unless they are "seamless, unobtrusive and unfailingly accurate," Strickland said.
The initial $10 million research program is funded jointly by NHTSA and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, an industry group representing many of the world's car makers.
In the demonstration, the system was sufficiently sensitive that it allowed a test subject to start a car with a blood alcohol level of 0.06, which is legal. The woman was in her 20s weighing about 120 pounds; she drank two, 1 1/2 ounce glasses of vodka and orange juice about 30 minutes apart, and ate some cheese and crackers in between to simulate a typical social setting.
Philip K. Dick is way ahead of us in his 1963 novel The Game Players of Titan:
It had been a bad night, and when he tried to drive home he had a terrible argument with his car.
"Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive. Please use the auto-auto mech and recline in the rear seat."
Pete Garden sat at the steering tiller and said as distinctly has he could manage, "Look, I can drive... Start, darn it!"
The auto-auto said "You have not inserted the key."
"Okay," he said, feeling humiliated. Maybe the car was right...
(Read more about Dick's alcohol-sensing system)
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/30/2011)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )
Related News Stories -
Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master' - Niven and Barnes, 2000.
Tesla Roadster Plus SpaceX Thrusters Equals Rocket Car
'The car surged and lifted...' - Robert Heinlein, 1941.
Sono Sion Electric Car Charges As You Drive
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.' - Robert Heinlein, 1940.
Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
TytoCare Offers Futuristic Home Care
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'
Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'
Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'
Would You Get 'Chipped'? Michigan May Ban Employers
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'
Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
'Jeremiah is a sports-model to begin with and that kind is awfully hot-tempered.'
DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots
'They exist in loose swarms...'
Tether Asteroids To Save Us All
'If anything can glue the asteroids back into the planet they once were, magnology will do it.'
Blaux Your Personal Commuter Cooling Unit
A cooling unit had to be strapped to every commuter's back, by law.
3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'...lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.'
R9X Hellfire Missile With Long Blades Kills Queda Leader
'He was still roaring when the knife missile flicked past him...'
Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.'
Perhaps You Might Be Interested In Habitable Exoplanet Moon Real Estate
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...
Blurry Face Photos Made 60 Times Sharper
Perfect tool for blade runners.
SpaceX Will Build Floating Spaceports!
'...a single perfectly level platform, which rose so high above the water that it was not splashed by the waves.'
Fast Radio Bursts And Space Beacons For Interstellar Navigation
'Every beacon has a code signal as part of its radiation...'
Robot Garbage Trucks Visualized
'It was a bulky, shining cylinder over twenty metres long.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories