According to the World Health Organization, 576,000 people die each year as a result of injuries sustained under the influence of alcohol. The Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) hopes to eliminate a large portion of those deaths by facilitating the development and adoption of technologies capable of preventing alcohol-impaired driving. Under the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program, ACTS has teamed up with the U.S. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and a panel representing the global automotive industry to turn lifesaving ideas into standard practice.
ACTS has selected TruTouch Technologies’ light-based system for funding following an extensive engineering review of existing and emerging technologies. The system makes it possible to measure a driver’s intoxication level by analyzing light reflected from their skin. The company will receive US$395,000 in development funding from the DADSS program for the first phase of this project, and if all goes according to plan can expect millions more from subsequent phases, leading to a prototype vehicle in 2012. TruTouch’s noninvasive alcohol measurement systems are currently available and being used across the country everywhere from drug courts and work release programs to safety-sensitive worksites and the military.