It is estimated 10,000 people will die this year as a result of drunken drivers. QinetiQ North America is working on high-tech solutions that could save many of those lives.
“We hope to reduce fatalities by 7,000 every year,” said Bud Zaouck, director of transportation solutions at QinetiQ North America.
Researchers have narrowed down their focus to two technologies. One is breath-based, and the other is touch-based. Zaouck said the breath-based system is different from ignition locks already used to stop repeat drunken drivers.
“The devices that we are looking at are non-invasive. They’re not obtrusive. You get into vehicles, and in less than half a second it can detect the amount of alcohol and whether you are above or below the legal limit,” said Zaouck.
If you are above the limit, you will not be able to drive the car. Another part of the $10 million project focuses on testing blood alcohol content when the driver touches the car’s ignition button.
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