Nissan has showcased a new concept car featuring multiple preventative features designed to tackle drink-driving. The various technologies are designed to detect the driver's state of sobriety and to activate a range of preventive measures including immobilisation of the vehicle.
A hi-sensitivity alcohol odour sensor is built into the transmission shift knob and is able to detect the presence of alcohol in the sweat of a driver's palm as he or she attempts to start driving. When the alcohol-level detected is above the pre-determined threshold, the system automatically locks the transmission, immobilising the car. A voice alert is also issued via the car navigation system.
Additional alcohol odour sensors are also incorporated into the driver’s and passenger seats to detect the presence of alcohol in the air inside the vehicle cabin.
Furthermore, a camera mounted on the instrument cluster facing the driver monitors their face. The system is calibrated to monitor the driver's state of consciousness through eyes. When the system detects signs of drowsiness, alerts are triggered and a seat-belt mechanism is activated, tightening around the driver to gain his or her immediate attention.
Lastly, the car can monitor driving patterns, sensing if the vehicle is drifting out of its driving lane for example. If it deems the driver as inattentive or distracted, again alerts are sounded and the seatbelt tightened.