The DADSS Program began in 2008 and was focused on research and creation of proof-of-concept prototypes to determine which technological approaches were most promising for vehicle integration. After extensive research, it was determined that the breath system and touch system were most viable.
Since that time, the Program has focused on ensuring the technology meets strict performance specifications related to accuracy, precision and reliability, so sober drivers are not inconvenienced, and so drunk drivers are never allowed to operate the vehicle.
In 2018, the Commonwealth of Virginia announced the first trial deployment with James River Transportation (JRT) to conduct in-vehicle, on-road test trials of the technology with sober drivers in naturalistic settings. This initiative, called Driven to Protect, was expanded to Maryland in 2019. That same year, the Program expanded on-road testing to include controlled, in-vehicle tests with drinking passengers, to determine how the sensors respond to real-world conditions. Those tests continue today.
In 2021, the Program announced the first-generation system equipped with the breath technology will be made available for open licensing in fleet vehicles for the first time ever. ACTS will begin licensing the technology to interested parties and a product equipped with the breath technology will be made available in late 2021 to any existing fleet or company that wants to outfit it into their vehicles – whether it be transportation vehicles, government fleets, rental cars, transportation vehicles, trucking companies, etc. This system is designed for fleet operators implementing a zero-tolerance alcohol policy for their drivers.
Today, teams of engineers, chemists and data scientists are working to reduce the size of the sensors so they are small enough to fit into passenger vehicles, can withstand harsh environmental conditions, do not require extensive calibration and can last the entire lifetime of a vehicle. Previous transportation safety innovations like airbags have taken a minimum of 20 years to be tested and approved for the public’s use, and the DADSS Program is on track to be completed in less time.