This Canadian Steering Wheel Technology Might Be the Future of Breathalyzing

Recognizing that human beings have become unable to determine whether or not they’re fit to drive by their own accord, a Waterloo startup has invented a piece of technology to make the call.

Sober Steering is both the company and product, which uses touch-based biosensor technology to monitor the person behind the wheel and detect alcohol through their skin. Drivers can only activate the vehicle’s ignition after placing their palm on the steering wheel and being deemed within the legal limit to drive.

In other words, this is what the future of breathalyzing looks like – no blowing.

If alcohol level is above pre-set limit at start, the vehicle is immobilized and dispatch is immediately alerted. Dispatch, in this case, would likely refer to an alternative mode of transportation that can get you home safely.

The system can also detect alcohol while driving, which doesn’t immobilize the vehicle while moving and also alert’s dispatch immediately. Dispatch, in this case, is more likely to be the cops.

Sober Steering is currently being tested on school buses, and for a very specific reason.

“Almost every week you have a public arrest of a school bus driver somewhere in North America that’s been drinking and driving with kids in the back,” says Sober Steering COO Catherine Carroll. Construction machinery vehicles and coach buses will likely be next to implement the technology.

Carroll estimates the auto industry is still a few years away from adopting Sober Steering but is hopeful that it can transform an entire industry once it catches on.