Honda and Hitachi Portable Alcohol Detector
Honda and Hitachi Portable Alcohol Detector

Hitachi and Honda Develop Prototype of Portable Alcohol Detection Device for Smart Keys

An announcement by Hitachi and Honda reveals a collaboration between the two companies on a new prototype of a portable alcohol detector that can be integrated into a smart key.

According to the two brands, the prototype device can distinguish human breath from alternative gases and can accurately measure alcohol levels within three seconds. Hitachi and Honda collaborated on developing this 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. Additionally, the system can become an ignition interlock to stop a vehicle from starting upon detecting the driver being over the legal limit.

The prototype is more advanced than other similar systems that require drivers to perform the test from the driver’s seat once inside a vehicle. However, this device enables drivers to measure their alcohol level from anywhere prior to entering their vehicle, thus reducing the temptation to drive.

The prototype’s key features are:

  1. Miniaturised sensor technology developed by Hitachi to give the device the ability to ascertain human breath
  2. High accuracy of ethanol concentration through use of multiple semiconductor gas sensors in compliance with Japan’s drink driving regulations
  3. Integrated for use with current smart key technology to prevent the vehicle’s engine from starting if it detects that the driver is over the pre-set limit

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

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

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