DADSS 2020 Research Program Technical Update

The Breath-Based Sensors

Over the past several months, the DADSS Program analyzed data collected from on-road tests to verify and validate the GEN 3.2 sensors – confirming they work as intended. The data also informs improvements to the sensors, such as reducing their variability. In addition, our partners in Sweden, Senseair, recently sent us a new generation (GEN 3.3) of breath-based prototypes for initial qualification. This latest version signifies a milestone; they will be used for the next phase of on-road testing and are one step closer to a consumer-ready product.

The Touch-Based Sensors

The DADSS team is focusing on improvements to the electronic system to reduce power consumption and integrate upgraded optics. The team is also working to improve the optical system and the correlation of readings between the detection and reference sensors for the detection of alcohol. We have also been collaborating with our partner nanoplus, a laser provider, to develop a new prototype laser that will help reduce the size of future touch-based sensors.

Human Subject Testing

We are nearing the number of participants needed to ensure the data collected through the human subject testing is statistically sound. We are also approaching the end of evaluating GEN 3.2 breath-based sensors. The cars with GEN 3.2 sensors will be retrofitted with GEN 3.3 units and ready for a new round of human subject testing later this summer.

We made excellent progress on collecting data through early 2020, but the human subject testing came to a temporary halt when states began to shut down to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are working with McLean Hospital in Massachusetts to evaluate next steps and determine a safe and responsible path forward for resuming our testing in an environment where COVID remains a risk.

During the pause, the team has been crunching and slicing the data collected throughout the previous months. Based on our analysis, we are making improvements to the next phase of human subject driving with the new generation of the breath-based sensors.

KEA Efforts During the Pandemic

Unrelated to DADSS and Driven to Protect, KEA Technologies, the DADSS Program Manager, is helping the community during the COVID-19 health crisis by using its equipment to produce components for personal protective equipment (PPE). KEA uses 3D printing technology to develop pieces needed for face shields and delivers these essential parts to hospitals throughout Massachusetts and other parts of the country. We are all committed to supporting health care workers in the fight against the pandemic.