Smart cars of the near future could refuse to start if the driver exceeds the drink-drive limit. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), working with a consortium of car makers including Ford, GM and Volkswagen has developed an alcohol detection system for vehicles that will prevent those over the limit from driving.
The NHTSA unveiled a prototype car fitted with its new Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety technology. The technology includes a steering wheel-mounted breathalyser and an engine start button that detects blood alcohol level via an infrared light.
Both will operate as passive systems, detecting alcohol level as the driver breathes normally, presses a button or holds the wheel. If the system detects the driver is over the limit it will refuse to start the car.