Right: Fingerprint system is designed to stop drunk driving and to serve as a vehicle security device
Two graduate students, Zhao Wencai and Li Zhoumu, from the China University of Geosciences claim they have developed what they believe is the world’s first fingerprint-based test to stop drunk driving. The system was introduced during the 3rd China-International Road Safety Expo held in Beijing last week.
Before being permitted to drive their cars, drivers would need to place their middle finger into a detector beneath the steering wheel. The system will automatically analyze the fingerprint to identify the driver and sweat to assess the alcohol level in the blood. If the alcohol level exceeds the limit, they will not be able to start the vehicle.
After installing the system, the detection of alcohol levels in the driver’s sweat is connected to the vehicle’s ignition. The detection device will analyze within 20 seconds whether the alcohol level in the driver’s finger sweat exceeds the limit.
If the driver’s fingerprint does not comply with those stored in the fingerprint records database, then the vehicle will not start.
Zhao says the system was developed with assistance from scholars from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of Cambridge.
Each year there are more than 250,000 traffic accidents and around 50,000 road deaths caused by drunk driving in China. Officials estimate drunk driving costs the Chinese economy nearly US$200 million (Yuan 1.3 billion) per year.
1 December 2008
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