The CEO of GM announced that a significant new safety feature will be available in their vehicles
GM CEO Mary Barra announced that her company will be introducing passive alcohol detection technology into its cars in an interview with the Economic Club of Washington, D.C. on December 13.
“We’ve been working with regulators on that,” Barra said. “We have technology to do that. […] I think that’s technology that’s coming that I think is going to be good for everyone.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration took the first regulatory step toward requiring technology that would detect and stop drunk drivers from operating light-duty cars and trucks the day before the figurehead’s response.
Drunk driving is still a problem on American highways and byways, despite the existence of preventative legislation and ongoing awareness campaigns.
The NHTSA’s most recent data indicates that 13,384 people lost their lives in drunk driving accidents in 2021.
The NHTSA is required by a provision of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was passed and signed by the president in November 2021, to publish a final rule by November 2024 that would require the aforementioned technology to be standard on cars and trucks that are sold in the US.
The Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Program, which will combine both breath- and touch-based systems that can determine a driver’s blood alcohol level before operating a vehicle, has been developed in cooperation with the NHTSA and leading automakers, including GM, Ford, Stellantis, and Honda.
The DADSS program states that a “fully passive breath sensor” will be available to automakers in 2024–2025; the release date for the touch sensor is not yet known.