The innovation is in the size of Hitachi’s newly developed sensor – just 5mm square – small enough to integrate with a car’s smart key, and able to lock the ignition of a vehicle if an excessive alcohol level is found, all within three seconds.
It’s smart stuff, and could play a big part in the prevention of drink-driving. Current alcohol interlock systems can only be used from inside a vehicle. This new device works anywhere and Honda says this key difference will take away the temptation of driving when drunk.
The company claims its device is tamper proof, and that it can detect not only the alcohol level, but also whether or not the gas going into the unit has been exhaled from a person.
Last year Honda dealerships in the United Kingdom gave away personal breathalysers during the Christmas holiday season. Honda has said this piece of hardware is the latest step towards its vision of a collision-free society and a solution to drink-driving.
The two Japanese firms would like to make the technology available for sale, meaning other manufacturers may also integrate it into vehicles. At this stage there is no news on when that may happen.