Nissan turns to high-tech to stop drink driving

Nissan has installed in a car three prototype high-tech systems designed to stop drink driving

As part of its drive to reduce road deaths and injuries, Nissan Motor has installed in a car three prototype high-tech systems designed to stop drink driving.

The first attempts to directly detect alcohol in the driver's sweat. After drinking, a certain amount of alcohol escapes the body in perspiration and this can be picked up by sensitive detectors if they are in proximity with the driver.

One of the four sensors in the car is on the gear shift lever. As this has to be touched in order to start driving the system can stop the car from being started if alcohol is detected.

In a demonstration on Thursday a message flashed up on the car's navigation screen and a voice calmly advised the driver: "The sensor has detected alcohol from your palm. You cannot use the shift. Please refrain from driving by yourself."

There are also sensors on the two front seats mounted at about neck level and one in the back seat.

A second system in the car uses a camera mounted in front of the driver to monitor eye movement. If the driver is drowsy it triggers the seat belt to tighten and this movement will hopefully snap the driver out of their drowsiness or prompt them to take a rest. A voice alert also sounds and a message pops up on the navigation screen.

In the prototype the system quickly administered a few jerks to the seat belt when the driver simulated tiredness.

A third system monitors the path of the vehicle to ensure it's traveling in a straight line and not weaving about the road, as is common with a drunken driver. This also triggers the voice and visual alerts and pulls the seat belt when signs of drunk driving or drowsiness are detected.

All three systems are prototypes and Nissan doesn't have a timeline to employ them in production cars. They have been developed as part of the company's Vision 2015 goal, which is to halve deaths and accidents that occur in accidents involving its vehicles by 2015.

This month it began tests with three local authorities in Japan in which off-the-shelf "Interlock" systems have been fitted into government vehicles to prevent drunk driving. The systems are less sophisticated than Nissan's sensors and require the drive blow into a Breathalyzer in order to start the vehicle.

As part of the Vision 2015 plan the company also unveiled on Thursday a system that pops the hood of the car up a few centimeters to reduce injuries in the case of a collision between a car and pedestrian.

The hood is raised to increase the space and provide a protective gap between it and the engine component, so when the pedestrian's head impacts the hood it is less likely to slam into the hard engine block underneath.

A sensor in the car's bumper detects a collision and relays this information to a control box that calculates the severity of the impact and whether to trigger an explosive actuator that will raise the hood. In a demonstration of the system at Nissan's crash test laboratory here on Thursday, the entire process took just milliseconds.

The pop-up hood system is ready for commercialization and will be seen first in the new Skyline coupe that is due out later this year in Japan.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?