Saab ready to field test the AlcoKey

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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