Uttarakhand researchers find solution to prevent drunk driving

drink and drive

If you are drunk and trying to drive, your vehicle will not start. Researchers from Almora-based Uttarakhand Residential University and RI Instruments and Innovations India, Haldwani have developed a new technology from waste that will prevent vehicles from operating if the driver is drunk.

The developed technology is a prototype that will be based on graphene–a by-product of carbon, generated from waste products and wild grasses. Graphene-coated electrodes can catalyze the process of oxidation of ethyl alcohol into acetic acid.

The person on the driving seat will have to first blow on the graphene sensor to start the device. This will immediately activate the sensor to analyse and estimate the driver’s liquor consumption. If alcohol is present in a quantity higher than prescribed by the Motor Vehicle Act, the engine of the vehicle will not start. It proves difficult to cheat the device as the infrared feature of the sensor can detect if anyone apart from the driver attempts to blow into the sensor. In this case too, the vehicle will refuse to start.

There will also be an imaging and object module sensor to alert co-passengers if the driver is falling asleep at the steering wheel by analyzing the eye movements.

In case of an accident, the device which comes installed with GPRS-GPS biometric technologies, will quickly locate the vehicle and proceed to dial 100 to send an SOS to the police within 5 to 10 minutes. Uttarakhand Governor KK Paul has requested the patent cell of Uttarakhand State Council for Science and Technology, Dehradun for a patent. He has also asked the team to modify the device for use in commercial vehicles which are prone to fatal road accidents. 

The device will be tested extensively at International Centre for Automotive Technology in Manesar, SGS Lab in Gurugram and the Automotive Research Association of India in Pune before it is used in vehicles.