According to reports, Nissan is developing an ignition interlock to prevent drunk driving. Toyota is developing an anti-DUI system that detects alcohol in a driver’s sweat. In both systems, an intoxicated person could not start or operate the vehicle.
Due to several high-profile DUI related accidents and fatalities in Japan, Nissan is testing interlock systems for future vehicles. One device would be a standard breathalyzer ignition interlock. Another device would involve a keypad with a complex PIN number and pattern that would be tricky for an intoxicated person to operate.
Toyota’s interlock would sense alcohol in a person’s sweat using sensors in the steering wheel. The system could also kick in if the sensors detect abnormal steering, or if a special camera shows that the driver’s pupils are not in focus. The car would then be slowed to a halt.
Toyota hopes to have its system installed in vehicles by 2009. The question that remains is what BAC would a driver be allowed to drive at.