A provision in the U.S. Senate’s massive infrastructure bill directs U.S. regulators to mandate a technology that prevents drunk drivers from ever starting their vehicle. Roughly one-third or 10,000 people die annually in traffic deaths due to impaired driving.
There’s a caveat. Experts question whether the technology being developed is accurate enough for widespread use and would be adopted. The bill does not specify the kind of technology but states it must “passively monitor the performance of a driver of a motor vehicle to accurately identify whether that driver may be impaired.”
Safety Provisions in the Bill
Under a provision in the bill, new cars will be required to have technology system that keeps children from being accidentally left in vehicles. A “door logic” alert will remind a driver that a rear door had been opened and closed prior to the engine starting. The alert tells the driver when the engine is turned off and to check the back seat.
Other provisions mandate an automatic emergency braking and crash avoidance systems for new cars and rear guards for semitrailer trucks to keep the passenger compartments of cars from being crushed in rear-impact collision. Another system monitors a driver for signs of distracted, impaired or fatigued driving by using sensors to scan drivers’ eyes for signs of impairment.
Technology Safety Standard in Three Years
The bill, if passed, requires the U.S. Transportation Department to set a technology safety standard within three years and then give automakers at least another two years to comply.
For an understanding of what this car of the future may hold, Nissan has developed a new concept car with all-around collision-free technologies and multiple preventive features against drunk driving. If the system detects that there’s a possible drunk driver inside, it warns the driver to stop the car.