Commercial trucks could soon be fitted with alcohol detection technology

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 10, 2021

New technology that could reduce drink driving is coming to commercial vehicles in 2021, with a new product equipped with alcohol detection technology under development by the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety Program in the United States.

The Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, a Virginia non-profit, announced the technology will be available for open-source licensing in commercial vehicles in late 2021.

The technology, which measures a driver‘s breath alcohol concentration, will be made available to any product integrator for preparation into fleet vehicles, including government vehicles, rental cars, transportation vehicles, and trucking companies.

It was the first time a product equipped with DADSS technology will come out of the lab and into commercial vehicles.

The new technology was the result of extensive research, development and testing by the DADSS Program, a public–private partnership between ACTS and the U.S. Department of Transportation‘s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The development of the technology was a major step in the program‘s quest to create a fully passive, non-invasive alcohol detection system. Unlike existing breathalysers or interlocks, the DADSS technology can be integrated into vehicles so there is no physical hardware in the vehicle cabin.

ACTS will begin licensing the DADSS technology to product integrators now, and a device equipped with the breath technology will be made available in late 2021.

Drivers provide a puff of breath directed towards a small sensor, which can be outfitted in the steering column or side door trim. Because it is designed for fleet operators implementing a zero-tolerance alcohol policy for their drivers, staff or employees, the system will give a “pass/fail” reading of the driver‘s breath alcohol concentration.

A consumer version is still under development and is expected by 2024.