Drug Screening Technology Innovates the Automotive Industry

Drug Screening Technology Innovates the Automotive Industry

In November 2021, Congress passed President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package that included a mandate for drug screening technology to be installed in all new vehicles as early as 2026. This new requirement has paved the way for safer roads and technology to lower the risk of intoxicated drivers getting behind the wheel.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver every day. When broken down, that averages to one death every 50 minutes. Additionally, the costs of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion a year.

This legislation will get in-front of impaired drivers by passively monitoring their performance by accurately identifying whether that driver may be impaired. The federal push for drunk driving technology is a huge win for safety advocates. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has called the measure "monumental."

Passively Monitoring Performance

The automotive industry has started the work on leaning into high-technology ahead of the infrastructure package.

One initiative, Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety or DADSS, is a joint project between the automotive industry and the federal government that would stop a vehicle from moving if it detects a driver's blood-alcohol content is above legal levels. Researchers are working on a touch-based sensor that would shine a light into a driver's fingertip, and detect the alcohol content of the blood based on the light reflected back.

With increased efficiency, reduced resource costs and reduced productivity costs, EyeGage brings a non-invasive offering to the market. As the 2021 winner of the Southern Automotive Conference’s Innovation Test Track Competition, a pitch competition that awards one cutting-edge innovation that is valuable to the automotive industry, EyeGage is becoming an attractive solution. 

By increasing the speed and accuracy of drug detection through computer vision analysis of the eye, EyeGage technology can be embedded into automobiles and offer self-administered, touchfree, and real-time results for drivers. By taking a picture and video of a driver’s eyes, EyeGage will be able to classify features, such as the pupil and iris, then compute its measurements to identify if any drugs and/or alcohol are in the driver’s system. 

In the process of creating a more diverse data set by collecting eye data from different age, ethnicity, eye color, sex, and weight groups, EyeGage is actively working to innovate the automotive industry and to ensure road safety for all drivers.