Honda has teamed up with Hitachi to create a high-tech portable breathalyzer.
The Japanese automaker announced that the two companies have created a prototype of a portable alcohol detector that is not only tamper-resistant, but can be integrated into smart key. The portable breathalyzer is capable of distinctively detecting the saturated water vapor from human breath and can accurately measure the alcohol level within three seconds once a person exhales into the device. Honda and Hitachi have also developed a system that can display the alcohol level measured by the breathalyzer on the vehicle’s display panel. Best of all, it can become an ignition interlock to prevent the driver from starting the vehicle if they’re under the influence of alcohol.
Worldwide, government agencies are trying to curb drunk driving. In Japan, transportation operators are required to use a breathalyzer before they begin their shifts, while in the U.S., the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched and directed the development of ignition interlock technology that connects breathalyzers to a vehicle’s engine.
According to Honda, the portable breathalyzer it has developed with Hitachi has advantages over other ignition interlocks. Other systems require drivers to perform the test from the driver’s seat once they’re already inside the vehicle; but Honda’s device can measure alcohol level from anywhere, like before a driver enters a vehicle. As a result, it could reduce the temptation to drive.