Australian cars will soon be fitted with sensors that can ‘sniff’ out alcohol, with experts saying the revolutionary technology could save thousands of lives.
The technology behind the ‘ultimate breath test’ can detect a driver’s blood alcohol level in less than one second using their exhaled breath.
The sensors use infrared light beams to measure the amount of carbon dioxide and alcohol molecules in the air inside the car.
If the sensors detect alcohol levels over the legal amount the car will not start, potentially stopping drink driving for good.
The bright orange sensors (pictured) can ‘sniff out’ alcohol on a driver’s breath by measuring the amount of carbon dioxide and alcohol molecules in the air
Developers of the technology say the sensors are more powerful than current breathalysers (pictured) and can distinguish between a driver and a passenger
Joe Calafiore, CEO of the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, said the technology was as significant as side-curtain air bags or lane-keeping assist.
‘You enter your car, you’re breathing, and it is passively detecting your breath,’ Mr Calafiore told 9News.
‘There are heavy hitters in the industry saying this is what the future will look like.’
Victoria will be the first jurisdiction outside of the United States to trial the new technology in trucks and cars over the next few months.
The game-changing technology has already garnered interest from some of Australia’s largest transport companies.
Joe Calafiore, CEO of the Victorian Transport Accident Commission (pictured) said the technology was as significant as side-curtain air bags or lane-keeping assist
Companies will implement the technology in heavy vehicles and fleets as soon as it has been approved for safe use.
Road Safety Minister Ben Carroll predicted the sensors would become familiar features in Australian cars in just a few years time.
‘It’s also unobtrusive, it’s contactless and it’s got very important hygienic benefits as well,’ he said.
Developers say the sensors are more powerful than breathalysers and can distinguish between a driver and a passenger.
Between January and September of this year twenty-five Victorians died at the hands of drink drivers, accounting for one fifth of the state’s overall death toll.