Japanese car maker Nissan has developed a concept car that features various apparatuses, including a breathalyzer-like detection system, that are designed to prevent drunk or fatigued drivers off the road. The sensors pick up odors in the car and check the driver’s sweat for traces of alcohol. If the driver is judged to be over-the-limit, the computer system can issue an alert or even lock down the ignition..
“The air odor sensors are embedded in the driver and passenger seats, while a detector in the gear-shift knob measures perspiration from the driver's palm.”
Nissan’s concept car also comes with a dashboard-mounted camera that monitor’s the driver’s eyes and picks up signs of fatigue. If the driver is perceived to be too tired and needs rest, the car will sound an alarm and issue a verbal warning. Though Nissan isn’t specific on when it can bring the system to the market, the company hopes to reduce fatalities involving its cars to 50% of 1995 levels by 2015, with the help of the new technology.
Nissan isn’t the only company that wants to keep the roads safer. In fact, Volvo, a Swedish car company, has attached a breathalyzer to a car’s seat belt, which drivers must blow into before the engine will start.