A two-party infrastructure bill could require cars to include driving technology against drunk people


Located on a spacious page of 2,702 pages of President Biden is a provision that could one day require vehicles sold in the U.S. to be delivered with a feature that detects when someone drunk sits behind the wheel of their car. First noticed , the clause requires National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to study the feasibility of different alcohol detection systems and determine the final set of rules within three years. After that period, carmakers would have 24 months to comply with the new regulation.

The provision does not specify the exact technologies that NHTSA should investigate except to say that the final product should “passively monitor” the driver to “accurately identify” whether he can safely drive his car. If the agency does not complete a set of rules within 10 years, it will need to describe in detail the obstacles it encountered in its report to Congress.

Driving technology against a drunk vehicle is not the only new safety feature that the law could require car manufacturers to apply in their vehicles. Per , other parts of the law would require automatic emergency braking, the inclusion of a collision avoidance system in new cars and warnings to remind drivers to check the rear seats of their vehicle after getting out of it. This last feature would ideally help parents prevent children from being left in the car on hot days.

The effort to use the technology to address drunk driving is not surprising. According to a from the Highway Safety Institute, cars with built-in alcohol detection systems could save as many as 9,000 lives in the U.S. each year. Over the past decade, drunk driving has played a role in 30 percent of all road deaths.

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