Issue: Dec 2009


Autoliv Develops Next Generation Alcohol Sensing System to Prevent Impaired Driving



by Steve Barclay

Autoliv Inc. the global leader in automotive safety systems – today announced it has been selected as a partner to participate in the recently announced alcohol sensing feasibility project co-sponsored by the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

NHTSA estimates that one third of all traffic fatalities in the US are alcohol related in some form. An alcohol sensor that prevents impaired-driving could have saved many of these lives. However, most consumers and vehicle manufacturers have resisted installing these systems. By making the detection system quicker, less intrusive, and less expensive than today’s systems, the funded project aims to gain greater public acceptance for an in-vehicle alcohol detection system in all cars.

The Autoliv approach is to identify small variations in the air composition within an arm-length to the driver’s mouth and nose. The intention is to use Infrared (IR) Spectroscopy as the sensing principle for both alcohol and CO2. By measuring the correlation between alcohol and CO2, the detection of the presence of alcohol within an arm-length of the driver can be accomplished. The unique prospect of this technology is to provide high sensitivity, specificity and system reliability at a reasonable cost.

“This is an important first step by ACTS and NHTSA to find an appropriate technology to reduce the number of alcohol related traffic fatalities” stated Håkan Pettersson, Project Manager for Autoliv. “We are not saying we have all the solutions today, but we feel we can make a significant contribution to hopefully someday solving the problem of impaired driving” added Pettersson.

Autoliv is working closely with SenseAir AB and Hok Instrument AB. Both of these companies have significant experience and expertise in the sensing, measuring and differentiating of alcohol versus other substances in the air.

The initial phase of this project is expected to be completed by July 2010.

About Autoliv

Autoliv Inc., the worldwide leader in automotive safety systems, develops and manufactures automotive safety systems for all major automotive manufacturers in the world. Together with its joint ventures, Autoliv has 80 facilities with approximately 36,000 employees in 28 vehicle-producing countries. In addition, the Company has technical centers in eleven countries around the world, with 21 test tracks, more than any other automotive safety supplier. Sales in 2008 amounted to US $6.5 billion. The Company's shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ALV) and its Swedish Depository Receipts on the OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm (ALIV sdb). For more information about Autoliv, please visit our company website at www.autoliv.com.


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