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Toyota Tests Breathalyzer Technology in 30 Commercial Vehicles

September 10, 2009

With the goal to give transportation and delivery companies better control of their fleets, Toyota Motor Co. is will introduce breathalyzer technology in its commercial vehicles, reports AutoWeek.

The breathalyzer technology, which was developed jointly with Toyota's truck subsidiary, Hino Motors Ltd., is mounted on the instrument panel of a truck and is about the size of a cell phone. It combines an alcohol detection sensor and a digital camera.

When a driver blows into the sensor, the camera takes a photo of the test-takers face. Then, if the sensor determines the driver has had too much to drink, the driver is either warned or the vehicle's ignition locks. The system then contacts the fleet administrator.

Additionally, the camera allows the administrator to determine if the test-taker is the authorized driver of the vehicle.

Currently, the company is running road tests involving 30 commercial vehicles. There are no plans at this time to introduce the technology in passenger vehicles.

Nissan Motor Co. has a similar technology that uses sensors embedded in the transmission shifter know and head rest. The system detects alcohol in the driver's perspiration or exhaled air, preventing the driver from blowing into a sensor.

Additionally, a camera monitors the driver's state of consciousness.


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