In bedrooms around the country on Saturday and Sunday mornings, hung-over people reach to their nightstand and carefully cycle through what their drunk fingers (and voices) were up to the night before. It’s the familiar sentiment to wish there was a contraption that could have prevented the inebriated individual from operating his or her mobile phone.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to monitor your directed alcohol-inspired musings yourself. But, fortunately, a company from Sweden is developing technology that will prevent inebriated individuals from operating something far more dangerous than a phone.
Autoliv, Inc., based in Stockholm, Sweden, has been developing automotive safety products from airbags to night vision technology that helps drivers detect animal and pedestrians. Now the company is developing an alcohol breath sensor that will operate automatically when a driver gets into the car. The product differs from available breathalyzers like Alcolock, which is a tethered alcohol test with two components; the actual breathalyzer unit the driver breathes in to, and an immobilizer which prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver is over the limit.
Autoliv’s solution is seamless; so seamless that the driver wouldn’t even know the breathalyzer is there. Instead of fumbling with a huge tube in the front seat that determines if you’re too drunk, you open the door, sit down, and automatically can’t drive anywhere.
The product is only in the development stages, however, and a finalized version is probably five years off. Regardless of the timing, the idea of an automatic breathalyzer in a lot of new cars is very real. Autoliv is the twentieth largest global auto supplier, generating $8.2 billion in sales last year.
Meaning a whole lot of manufacturers are buying Autoliv’s products.