More control with technology in your car!
I’m not drunk, I can drive myself! Can you?
Brought to you by Niall Mulrine, Pc Clean.
As is evident from the last few week’s articles, innovations in technology are focusing on family cars. If you missed the previous articles, please go to www.pclean.ie and check out Blogs.
Someone or SOMETHING telling you that you have consumed too much alcohol to drive is a common scenario in Ireland. Friends and family members often attempt to take car keys away from loved ones who are too intoxicated to drive. However this problem is not just local – it is a Worldwide occurrence and it is serious enough to bring groups of people together to try to come up with solutions to prevent the fatalities on our roads due to excessive consumption of alcohol.
Below is a graph showing, percentages of drivers in different countries whom had fatal accidents due to drink driving.
(courtesy of drivingireland.ie)
In the US, scientists have come up with a revolutionary method of testing the alcohol in a drivers system before driving off. It’s like having your own private Garda sitting in the front seat with you. A research facility in Massachusetts called QinetiQ, have devised a system that is located on either the dashboard or the steering wheel to measure the alcohol level. There are numerous sensors embedded into the front of the car that is actively testing the quality of air from the driver area. When alcohol is detected, the engine is locked down directly and cannot be started by the driver no matter what they try. This is still in testing conditions and not ready to be rolled out, but gives us an idea of what is to come. This comes from another closely related device call AlcoLock that is becoming common in certain parts of America and Canada. It works on a similar principle. The driver must blow into a breathalyser every time they put the key into the ignition. The AlcoLock takes a reading before the engine starts and also takes random samples to be sure the driver has not tried to fool the equipment. These are fitted into cars of known DUI offenders. Although there are some teething problems with this system, Sweden have committed to have this rolled out by 2012, in all commercial vehicles and buses. It will be mandatory to be fitted in all new vehicles.
Shock tactics are being used in an attempt to stop drink driving but despite these graphic and grusome ad campaigns some people are still persisting to drive under the influence. Thankfully, with the advances in technology, the number of drivers taking to the road under the influence shall fall rapidly. The Government are planning to take the alcohol level down from 0.8 to 0.6 BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). Although this is a step in the right direction it does not take into account, a person’s weight, age or metabolism – which are all factors in determining how much is too much.
Are all these measures intruding in our privacy? Or is this exactly what we need? Make your own mind up!
Keep reading as next week, there is no need to worry about drinking and driving. A concept that takes all the worry away! To catch up on any missed articles written by Niall Mulrine of Pc Clean, go to www.PcClean.ie and read the blogs already submitted.
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Niall Mulrine, Pc Clean, Navenny, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, Ireland
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