It's 2:00 am and patrons are filing out of bars, hailing taxis, scheduling Ubers, or walking home. But there's always one person thinking, "I'm okay to drive. I didn't have that much to drink." They open their car, fumbling to get their keys into the ignition.
The car's engine turns over. Instead of the radio, a voice comes across the speakers – "High levels of alcohol detected. Please find an alternate mode of transportation." The engine goes quiet.
It might sound like a science fiction story, but this tale's not from a Ray Bradbury book – it's a technology that car manufacturers are seriously exploring. What better to stop a drunk driver than the car itself?
As driver-assist features become more and more prevalent in today's cars, many manufacturers are looking to the future of vehicle safety. While collision detection has been developing for some time, Nissan and other manufacturers have also been researching ways to prevent incidents of drunk driving before the car even gets on the road.
By implementing a number of different gadgets into one of their cars, Nissan managed to create the first anti-drunk driving prototype. While this car is still years away from being available to the public, the technology is impressive.
In the past, breathalyzers have been installed on vehicles of those drivers convicted of a DUI. However, these are only implemented after a person has already driven drunk. By using air sensors, thumbprint scanners, and facial recognition monitoring, Nissan's technology could stop a DUI before it happens.
Nissan's air sensors will be able to read the level of alcohol present in the cabin, emanating from the driver's breath, and it analyzes the alcohol content. The air sensors are placed just beyond the steering column to ensure it's not picking up a passenger's breathing.
A thumbprint scanner, which reads below the first layer of skin, can measure the amount of alcohol present in the blood stream. This thumbprint scanner is located on the shifter. It could be implemented as an anti-theft device as well.
Lastly, a camera placed behind the steering wheel near the odometer would read facial irregularities such as rapidly blinking eyes, squinting, or even if the driver begins to fall asleep.
Our law firm sees the devastation of accidents caused by drinking and driving. We invite you to sign our Safe & Sober Pledge to help us fight against drunk driving. When you take our pledge, you're entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.
As always, if a drunk driver ever injures you and you need legal help, call our law firm for a free consultation. We'll get you the answers – and legal help – you need to get your life back on track. We're available any time, and it's always free to speak with us.