Street with cars parked

Portable alcohol detector developed by Honda and Hitachi

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Japanese firms Honda and Hitachi have announced the development of a prototype portable alcohol detector that can be integrated into smart keys, Carscoops reports.

The device is tamper-resistant and provides accurate measures of a user's alcohol levels within just three seconds.

The breathalyser is said to offer a number of additional benefits compared with current interlock technologies. For instance, the fact the device is portable means the user can test alcohol levels before entering the vehicle, which the firms believe could limit the temptation to get behind the wheel.
Unlike other systems, the device is also capable of identifying whether or not the user has operated it in the correct way.The integrated sensor technology detects the saturated water vapours from the applied air with a 'high degree of sensitivity,' making it easy to tell whether or not the air is genuine human breath.

To work alongside the device, the two companies have also created a system that can show the breathalyser reading on the vehicle's display panel. This technology can be used as an ignition interlock, preventing the engine from starting if the device uncovers that the driver is under the influence of alcohol.

At the start of this month, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) urged companies to help reduce road accidents by installing alcolocks on all of their fleet vehicles.

Honda and Hitachi have said that they are planning to commercialise the portable alcohol detector using information gained from continuing validation assessments.

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