Company Developing Device to Check Driver’s Blood Alcohol Level Through Skin

A Michigan company is developing a device that uses an infrared sensor to determine a driver’s blood alcohol level. The company hopes to make the device small enough to fit on a car’s start button.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the auto supplier Takata and its partner, TruTouch, have received a grant for $2.25 million from the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, to develop the device.

“The goal is to take impaired drivers off the road,” Kirk Morris, Takata’s Vice President of Business Development, told the newspaper. “Breathalyzers are invasive. You have to blow into a tube.” He said the new device would be so unobtrusive, drivers wouldn’t even be aware of it.

The team working on the device is trying to reduce its processing time, and hopes to make it function in varied temperatures. Takata ultimately aims to get the price of the apparatus down to about $200. The article notes the device is as accurate as a blood test. It is not expected to be ready for market for another eight to 10 years.

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