Hitachi and a Honda Motor Co. research and development subsidiary have developed a prototype of a portable alcohol detection device that’s tamper-resistant and can be integrated into a smart key.
This device can detect saturated water vapor from human breath and accurately measure alcohol level within three seconds after a driver exhales onto the device, according to Honda.
Hitachi and Honda collaborated on developing the technology. The two companies also developed a system that can show the measured alcohol level on the vehicle’s display panel. This system can function as an ignition interlock to stop a vehicle’s engine from starting when the driver is under the influence of alcohol, Honda said.
The prototype has advantages over other ignition interlocks, according to Honda, because other systems require drivers to perform the breath test from the driver’s seat inside the vehicle. With the Hitachi/Honda device, drivers can measure their alcohol level from anywhere. Additionally, the Hitachi/Honda device can confirm that the applied gas is human exhaled breath and detect the level of alcohol at the same time.
Hitachi and Honda will present the technology next month at the SAE 2016 World Congress and Exhibit in Detroit.