Saab Takes Up Issue of Drunk Driving

In response to operators of public transport and taxi services, Saab is set to begin test trials of what it calls the AlcoKey. The special key, about the size of a small cell phone, contains a breath analysis unit that can prevent an intoxicated driver from starting a vehicle.

The key will be tested in about one hundred specially equipped Saab vehicles over a six month period. This represents the culmination of a multi-year development program that dealt with issues such a reducing the size of the key and improving battery life.

The AlcoKey requires a driver to provide a breath sample through a mouthpiece before being able to start the car. The key sends a radio signal to an electronic control unit and if the sample is below the legal blood alcohol limit, the vehicle can be started. If elevated amounts of alcohol are detected, the car will be immobilized.

Car fleet and taxi operators sought out the automaker in an effort to show social responsibility and to gain confidence from the public in their driving services. Saab Managing Director, Jan-Ake Jonsson, said, “Car crashes and personal injuries due to drunk driving remain a great concern and Saab wants to do what it can to help prevent this.”

Implementation of the AlcoKey is currently planned for the Swedish market only.

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