Toyota Tests Breathalyzer Technology in Commercial Vehicles

Sep 15, 2009
Toyota will soon be introducing breathalyzer technology in its commercial vehicles with the intent of giving managers better control of their fleets, reports AutoWeek.

The unit, which Toyota developed in tandem with its truck subsidiary Hino Motors Ltd., is mounted on a vehicle’s instrument panel and is about the size of an average cellular phone.  It contains a portable alcohol testing device and a small digital camera.

When a driver enters their vehicle, the camera takes a picture of their face.  A breath test for alcohol is then administered, and if the driver is over the limit, they will either be warned or the vehicle’s ignition will lock.  In either case, the system will contact the fleet’s administrator to notify them of the situation.

In addition to making sure drivers are safe behind the wheel, the camera component allows the fleet administrator to confirm that the person taking the breath test is the authorized driver of the vehicle.

Road tests are currently being performed by Toyota in 30 commercial vehicles.  There are no plans to implement the system in passenger vehicles.

Photo courtesy of hyku under the Creative Commons License.