Toyota Ignition Breathalyzer Lock

A breath-alcohol ignition-interlock system is now being tested by Toyota and Hino Motors. The tests will include drivers conducting self-breath tests before they operate a vehicle and, after vehicle use, fleet administrators monitoring and verifying the test results automatically recorded on the vehicle's digital tachograph.

The system features a hand-held unit containing both a breathalyzer that can detect alcohol in a small breath sample and a digital camera that photographs the driver's face for test-taker identification. If the test result is positive, the system either warns the driver or locks the vehicle's ignition, depending on the level of alcohol detected. The system thus prevents drivers from operating vehicles in an inebriated state, while follow-up instructions given by fleet administrators aim to further reduce the possibility of alcohol-related traffic accidents.

The system uses a handheld unit that contains a breathalyzer and a camera.

(Toyota Ignition Breathalyzer Lock)

Philip K. Dick has done his best to prepare sf fans for this particular future. In his 1963 novel The Game Players of Titan, Philip K. Dick writes about a conversation that a man has with his car following a evening of drinking.

It had been a bad night, and when he tried to drive home he had a terrible argument with his car.

"Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive. Please use the auto-auto mech and recline in the rear seat."

Pete Garden sat at the steering tiller and said as distinctly has he could manage, "Look, I can drive... Start, darn it!"

The auto-auto said "You have not inserted the key."

"Okay," he said, feeling humiliated. Maybe the car was right.
(Read more about the alcohol-sensing car)

From Toyota via Dvice.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 9/7/2009)

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