New device to prevent drunk driving

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Dehradun, April 20 (IANS) If you are drunk and trying to drive, your vehicle will not start. Uttarakhand researchers have developed a new technology from waste that will prevent vehicles from operating if the driver is drunk.

The Uttarakhand Residential University in Almora and Haldwani-based RI Instruments and Innovation India have jointly produced a device that will make driving difficult if the driver is in an inebriated condition or feeling drowsy or is speaking on the mobile phone.

A team comprising R.P. Joshi, Akash Pandey and Kuldeep Patel developed a prototype that will be based on graphene generated from waste products and wild grasses as one of the components.

Graphene has an important role in the device as graphene-coated electrodes can catalyse the process of oxidation of ethyl alcohol into acetic acid. The concentration of alcohol will automatically disconnect the device, Joshi told IANS.

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The driver, while at the driving seat, has to blow the graphene sensor on the device to start the vehicle. This will immediately activate the sensor that will analyse and estimate the liquor content present in the blood of the driver.

The engine of the vehicle will not start in case the presence of liquor is more than the prescribed limit under the Motor Vehicle Act, Joshi said.

If the driver gets someone else to blow the graphene-coated sensor, the infrared feature of the sensor will analyse it and the vehicle will not start.

In case the driver feels sleepy while driving, the object and imaging module of the sensor will analyse his eye movements and will alert the co-passengers.

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The imaging technique will also send an alert in case the driver is talking on his mobile phone.

The device will be equipped with the GPRS-GSM and biometric technologies and will help to know the location of the vehicle.

In case of an accident, the device will automatically, within five to 10 minutes, dial phone number 100 to send an SOS to the police.

The team, on the advice of Uttarakhand Governor K.K. Paul, has sent the device to the patent cell of the Uttarakhand State Council for Science and Technology, Dehradun, for patent.

The Governor has also advised the team to modify the device for use in commercial vehicles in the state that witnesses frequent fatal accidents.

The device will be tested extensively at International Centre for Automotive Technology in Manesar, SGS Lab in Gurugram and the Automotive Research Association of India in Pune before it is used in vehicles.

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The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways says 16 persons die every hour across India in road accidents. But it makes no mention of the numbers who died due to drunk driving.

–IANS

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