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In the wake of the heavily publicized fatal crash involving a Lexus ES 350 with keyless ignition in California, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing standardizing keyless ignition systems. The government regulator wants all vehicles with keyless ignition to turn off after a button press of just half a second, according to a report by Bloomberg.

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The Detroit Free Press is reporting that two companies have joined forces to create a push-to-start button that can automatically sense the driver's blood-alcohol level. Takata, an Auburn Hills-based parts supplier and TruTouch, an Albuquerque-based firm, have received a $2.25 million grant from the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety to help make the creation commercially viable.

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Five years ago, if you owned a vehicle with push button start, you probably owned a luxury vehicle or high-end sports car. For 2011, there are 189 vehicles with push start technology, including many vehicles that retail for less than $20,000. But while the technology has proliferated to nearly every vehicle segment, each automaker has its own keyless ignition mechanism.

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