• Oct 12th 2006 at 6:58PM
  • 66
We reported a long while back about Saab's plan to sharply reduce the number of drunk driving cases involving its own vehicles in Sweden and abroad. Called the AlcoKey, this small cell phone size device is basically a breathalyzer with a radio transmitter that tells your Saab whether or not you're fit to be behind the wheel. If you fail the breath test, the car won't start -- simple as that. Not only does it analyze the alcohol content in your breath, it also measures the temperature of your breath to thwart those trying to game the device by using a balloon or an air pump to pass air through it.

Saab will be field-testing the AlcoKey in Sweden with the help of various car fleet and taxi operators over the next six months in 100 vehicles. This is the last step before Saab might offer the AlcoKey as an option with the 9-5 or 9-3 sedans for 3,000 SEK ($408USD, we think).

The last two years of development have been spent shrinking the device to an acceptable size and increasing its battery life, which Saab says now stands at 12 months if the device were to be used five times a day. If you need to use the AlcoKey five times a day, then perhaps you have bigger problems than not being able to start your car.

[Source: World Car Fans]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      this is ridiculous. who and why would actually pay extra for this and use it ... ???
      • 9 Years Ago
      How can the device notice if your the actual person that is the owner of the vehicle & as well as blowing into it!? Someone else can blow into the device that hasn't been drinking in order to start your vehicle for you!!!!!! What a poor invention.
      • 9 Years Ago
      In response to #12. Since when is human life considered "no value"? You are an idiot!
      • 9 Years Ago
      I don't think some one will buy this option.

      • 9 Years Ago
      Lots of people who own higher end cars drink and drive. Saying that people with a pentient for that don't own Saabs is silly.

      I think some kind of system to prevent a car from starting is a great idea, but why not something that can register a change in body temp, or in the driver's seat? That way you don't have to bribe someone to start your car for you..
      • 9 Years Ago
      Mmm...yes, this is great. I'd love to be sold a product with an option to insult myself every time I use it. Great thinking, morons!
      • 9 Years Ago
      World Car Fans' story says that the alcokey is for public service and fleet operators. So probably for rental cars, etc?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Now alcoholics will just leave their cars running while they're at the bar. So instead of just DUI (and possible injury or death as a result), they'll be wasting gas too.


      I appreciate the attempt here, but it's just too easy to defeat.

      • 9 Years Ago
      I truly believe all cars should be manufactured with an interlocking device in them. Then if the person purchasing it has a problem or has had a problem when they go to insure it part of the process would be a requirement to have the device activated. This would enhance everyone's safety. I am sure with technology the cost at manufacturing level would be minimal. God we still pay for cigarette lighter they just call them something different.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Good concept.

      What happens when someone who knows they probably shouldn't drive, but blows anyway and passes? They may not be legally drunk, but definitely have no business driving. Now Saab is being sued for letting this person kill some child.

      Like I said, good idea, and down the road, maybe some major tuning to the idea will create a viable product. Let's hope anyway.
      • 9 Years Ago
      What's to stop the driver paying some kid or passer by to blow into it for him?
      • 9 Years Ago
      what if your the type of person that can't blow only suck?
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