Your next new car might come with all the bells and whistles…literally. Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and partners unveiled the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) program, a research partnership between NHTSA and an industry consortium to develop groundbreaking technology to prevent alcohol-impaired drivers from operating their vehicles while under the influence, potentially saving thousands of lives.
“Education, awareness and enforcement have succeeded in dramatically reducing drunk driving fatalities, but the advanced technology of DADSS brings enormous potential to save even more lives,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told reporters at the press conference in Washington, D.C.
During the event, U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez and NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind discussed the future of DADSS technology with U.S. Senator Tom Udall, U.S. Representatives Peter DeFazio and Nita Lowey, President and CEO of the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) Rob Strassburger, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) National President Colleen Sheehey-Church. CADCA’s Evaluation and Research Manager, Allison Jacobs, also attended.
In addition to a testing vehicle, the event included displays of the two technology prototypes under development – one that detects alcohol levels by touch, another by sensing the driver’s breath – to show progress in maturing them for automotive use. The project’s objective is to complete the necessary research within the next 5 years that would support the introduction of technologies into the vehicle fleet.