A laser that detects if there’s alcohol vapour inside cars has the potential to reduce the numbers of road injuries related to irresponsible drinking.
Researchers in Poland have created a device that detects alcohol vapour inside moving cars, and it can help detect blood alcohol levels as low as 0.1% in drivers, reports The Verge.
The gadget shoots a laser beam at cars passing at a distance of up to 20 metres and detects the amount of alcohol vapour by calculating the changes in the laser beam as it travels through the car and bounces off a mirror.
Of course, there’s one big issue with this system—police won’t be able to detect whether the alcohol vapours are from the driver or one of the passengers, which means there could be a lot of unnecessary pull overs.
We’re not too sure how this can be improved, but the scientists are now working on this and other issues, such as the distortion caused by air-conditioning systems. There’s also the issue of whether this classifies as an invasion of privacy.
While it’s still early days, if this new system does prove to be practical, it could offer a better way of monitoring our roads. In Australia 30% of fatalities and nine percent of road injuries are related to irresponsible drinking.
“As far as the commercialisation of the device is concerned, the next step would be to make it more compact, robust and customer friendly, which can be achieved with high probability,” wrote the researchers in a paper published in the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing.
Sources: The Verge and The Huffington Post