What if your steering wheel could tell if you have been drinking the moment you get behind the wheel? A Waterloo, Ontario-based startup has worked to do just that in an effort to develop technology that could make the breathalyzer obsolete.
Sober Steering has developed a touch-based bio-sensor technology that will monitor a drivers blood-alcohol level through the steering wheel. The technology is cheaper and more efficient than other more traditional ways for identifying blood-alcohol levels.
Before a driver can start the engine, they must place their palm on a sensor built into the steering wheel. They must also check-in with the system periodically while driving to make sure they have not snuck a few sips while driving.
The sensor is able to detect the amount of ethanol in a persons blood stream through their skin. According to Sober Steering, it would take about five minutes for the sensor to detect the alcohol level. If alcohol is detected, it will alert a home base, which could be a local police station or a transit systems headquarters.
The companys Chief Operating Officer Catherine Carroll believes the technology could reshape the way we monitor drunk driving. The company has already launched the technology within the school bus industry as a test market. The plan is then to roll it out to fleet vehicles likes coach buses and construction machinery.
According to Carroll, a few kinks still need to be worked out. The technology is not yet ready for consumer vehicles, where a passenger could place their hand on the sensor in order to pass the sobriety test.
Her goal is to make the technology mainstream for convicted drunk drivers who are required to use the current systems like an ignition interlock.
Drunk driving causes thousands of injuries and deaths every year in Ontario and throughout Canada. If you or someone you love has been injured, contact our drunk driving injury lawyers to discuss your legal rights today.