Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) – A Status Update

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) began research in February 2008 to try to find potential in-vehicle approaches to the problem of alcohol-impaired driving. Members of ACTS comprise motor vehicle manufacturers representing approximately 99 percent of light vehicle sales in the U.S. This cooperative research partnership, known as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) Program, is exploring the feasibility, the potential benefits of, and the public policy challenges associated with a more widespread use of non-invasive technology to prevent alcohol-impaired driving. The 2008 cooperative agreement between NHTSA and ACTS for Phases I and II outlined a program of research to assess the state of detection technologies that are capable of measuring blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) and to support the creation and testing of prototypes and subsequent hardware that could be installed in vehicles. Phase 3, funded under the 2013 cooperative agreement (2013 CA), and subsequent phases of research, outline further refinement of the technology. It will test how the instruments might operate in a vehicle, as well as perform basic and applied research to understand human interaction with the sensors both physiologically and ergonomically. At the completion of this effort a determination will be made with respect to the devices, whether the DADSS technologies can ultimately be commercialized. This paper will outline the technological approaches and program status.