Hitachi, Honda Develop Prototype Of Portable Alcohol Detection Device For Vehicle Smart Keys

Hitachi and Honda announced they have developed a prototype of a portable alcohol detector that can be integrated into a smart key. The prototype is tamper-resistant as it can distinguish human breath from alternative gases. This device is capable of distinctively detecting the saturated water vapour from human breath and accurately measures alcohol levels within three seconds. Hitachi and Honda jointly collaborated on developing the technology in an effort to create the ideal alcohol detector.

The two companies also developed a system that can show the alcohol level measured by the detector on a vehicle’s display panel. The system can become an ignition interlock to stop a vehicle from starting when it detects that the driver is under the influence of alcohol.

The prototype has distinct advantages over other ignition interlocks. Currently, other systems require drivers to perform the test from the driver’s seat once inside a vehicle. This device enables drivers to measure their alcohol level from anywhere prior to entering their vehicle,thus reducing the temptation to drive. In addition, it can confirm that the applied gas is human exhaled breath and can detect the level of alcohol present simultaneously, an enhancement over currently available devices. Advancements like these will contribute to reducing instances of drink driving.

The prototype has the following features:

(1) Miniaturised sensor technology with the ability to discern human breath

Hitachi has developed sensor technology that can detect the saturated water vapours from human breath with a high degree of sensitivity. The sensor consists of an oxide insulator1 sandwiched between electrodes. Breath is absorbed by the insulator and electric current flows between the electrodes.

This sensor improves upon previous similar devices by being able to detect alcohol to a high degree of accuracy, despite the sensor area measuring just 5mm square.

(2) High accuracy of ethanol concentration through use of multiple semiconductor gas sensors

In compliance with Japan’s regulations related to drink driving, the device has an improved ability to measure the ethanol concentration from exhaled breath.  The ethanol concentration is measured*2 by three types of semiconductor gas sensors to detect ethanol, hydrogen and metabolised acetaldehyde in breath after drinking. This method improves accuracy threefold*3 compared to devices that only use an ethanol sensor for measurement. The device is also capable of measuring as little as 0.015 mg/L (an ethanol concentration) compared to 0.15 mg/L of the alcohol which constitutes being “under the influence of alcohol” and a charge of drunk driving in Japan.

(3) Integrated for use with current smart key technology

By applying the recorded measurement result of the alcohol detector into the engine ignition mechanism, the system prevents the vehicle’s engine from starting if it detects that the driver is over the preset limit. An alert indicator also shows the measurement results on the vehicle’s display panel if the detector equipped smart key is close to the driver seat.

Hitachi and Honda are aiming to commercialise the technology through effectively collecting data from future validation tests.

The prototype and research findings will be presented on April 12 –14,at the SAE 2016 World Congress and Exhibit,which will be held in Detroit,Michigan,USA.

*1Oxide insulator: an insulator with metal-oxide such as glass or ceramic.

*2 The concentration is calculated by differential evolution algorithm. The algorithm is one of the numerical analysis methods to obtain best solutions for plural unknown parameters in equations.

*3 Hitachi internal figures.

1 comments

Although drunk driving is forbidden all over the world, still drunk driving cases exist. A lot of accidents occur due to the drunk driving. In such accidents many people injured or became disabled and unfortunately there are cases resulting death. Furthermore, millions of dollars financial damage occurs. To prevent such accident some institutions and companies construct projects or support such projects.
In the projects, those have the aim of preventing such accidents from occurring, a connection is established between the engine and alcohol meter via an immobilizer system. The working principle of this kind of project is established as follows: while the driver indents to start the vehicle he must pass an alcohol test. To prevent the case of driver uses alcohol after starting the vehicle, the driver asked to pass alcohol tests every time that is designated by the system. This way it is tired to avoid driver to take alcohol after starting the vehicle.
1. WHAT IS THE NAME OF THIS PROJECT
The name of this project is GOST “safe car driving technology”

2. WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF “GOST PROJECT”?
GOST project is established by utilizing speed sensor, voltage sensor, time sensor, alcohol meter, MQ3 alcohol scent sensor and face recognition algorithm. The process schema of face recognition algorithm is organized in accordance with the project and by utilization of the features of sensors mentioned above, new software is established.
3. WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED VIA “GOST PROJECT”?

A. Drunk driving can be avoided by 100%

B. Driving without a driving license can certainly be prevented

C. Considering real time traffic tickets, the ticket is issued to the driver who is driving at that moment.

D. Wherever in the world the vehicle is started, the personal information of the person who drives the vehicle can be reached.

4. THE TECHNOLOGY OF GOST PROJECT CAN BE UTULIZED ALL VEHICLES?
Yes it can. This technology can be utilized in vehicles while keeping the originality of it.
5. WHAT ELSE GOST PROJECT OFFERS?
With this project, even a running vehicle can be prevented from operating.
6. WHERE CAN BE GOST TECHNOLOGY APPLIED?
Similar technologies are embodied vehicle as a “must have device” in many Europe countries. Specially in school services, bus companies, cargo and logistic companies and lately in private vehicles it is embodied as a “must have device”
7. WHY DO PEOPLE PREFER TO USE THİS DEVİCE?
The companies those are aware of the importance of their business or expecting to provide better service, to demonstrate that they can provide safer service compare to other companies, and considering security of life and property, want to utilize this device.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES OF GOST PROJECT FROM OTHER PROJECSTS?

1. Do you know, for certain, the one passes the alcohol test is the driver himself?
2. How can you prevent a person to pass the alcohol test besides from the driver if there is more than one person in the vehicle?
3. If the driver is a non-drinker or not drunk, why does he have to pass alcohols test every time he wants to use his vehicle or after starting his vehicle?
4. What can be done in case of driver chance during the day or driver changes in “stop and go” cases?
5. If the driver is not drunk, why should the case of “having another person in the car who is drinking alcohol or drunk” result in immobilization or preventing from starting vehicle?
6. Is the device in the vehicle sensitive to alcohol components?
7. Why should a conscious alcohol user pass an alcohol test when he uses a vehicle?
8. A driver can pass alcohol test by wearing transparent gloves. What can be done in that case? GOST project is designed considering such circumstances and the driver is under control from starting the vehicle to stopping it.
9. What are the other superiorities of GOST project? You can’t drive a vehicle without having a driver licence even the vehicle has started. The owner of the vehicle or other persons want to drive the vehicle should register their licence for once only. Later it is sufficient to have the licence with them when they want to use the vehicle.
10. The stopping conditions of running vehicle are defined.
11. Some countries expect zero tolerance while in some countries it is permitted to 0,08 promile.

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