While everyone knows the old motto “Don’t drink and drive,” a Swedish automotive safety company is working on technology to make it literally impossible.
The company, Autoliv, recently unveiled a system they were developing to detect if a driver is intoxicated, without requiring any action by the alleged drunken risk taker.
While they have been close-lipped about how the technology will work, they have revealed that there will be no need whatsoever for those court-ordered breathalyzers that alcoholics tend to possess, which I didn’t even know existed until I saw The 40 Year Old Virgin.
By using buzzwords like “seamless” and “affordable,” CEO Jan Carlson is building a significant hype for the experimental product, which is set to debut in about five years.
While drunk driving is a dangerous and potentially deadly endeavor, I feel like there’s no chance that this technology will be effective.
First of all, if you’ve ever used a breathalyzer, you know they don’t work the way you’d expect (partly because when you have one, the entire night becomes a “Highest BAC” contest). If you’ve taken even a sip of alcohol in the past 15-30 minutes, the results of the test will be skewed.
While how the system works is still mostly a mystery at this point, it has been confirmed that it will rely on the breath of the driver, making it an inherently flawed solution. Drinking a beer or two can easily lead to overestimations on a regular breathalyzer, and unless significant technological leaps and bounds are made, this product will be no different.
Another concern lies in the realm of drunken passengers. If a sober pledge’s car goes dead after 5 whiskey-breathed passengers slide into the passenger seats, chances are you’ll have some unhappy customers. With no direct breathalyzer tube, it seems like it would be difficult to discern who is actually the wasted/guilty party.
It sounds okay in theory, and I would love nothing more than to have my ill-advised booze fueled 4AM Taco Bell runs discouraged (Okay, ending all the drunk driving accidents would be a pretty good thing too), but unless this equipment is truly seamless and precise, all that you can expect are a lot of pissed off slightly buzzed drivers who can’t get home.
- [via Fox News]