Drinking and driving is a dangerous combo. If only more people could test their own blood alcohol counts from the privacy of their own vehicle before putting the key in the ignition. Imagine how many lives could possibly be saved. Better yet, do not think about it – do it. There are a number of ways to achieve this, including Swedish auto safety equipment business Autoliv Inc.’s brand new in-car breathalyzer. It will operate automatically when a potential driver gets to the automobile.
To be able to analyze breath, breathalyzer technology generally demands that a motorist breathe into a tube. The breathalyzer works perfectly, according to Autoliv CEO Jan Carlson.
“It should be seamless. You should not notice the car has an alcohol detection device in it,” said Carlson as he addressed an audience at the Automotive News Europe Congress in Monte Carlo.
According to Carlson, the Autoliv involuntary breathalyzer will be the industry standard within five years.
“Everyone will be interested in it, particularly if it is affordable,” he said. “If you look at the numbers, 30 percent of all fatalities are coming from driving under the influence. When you talk to parents with teenage daughters and sons they would love to have this device in the vehicle.”
Brand new goal in mind
Autoliv is known for its seatbelt and airbag designs that are passive auto safety devices. Now, it wants sot work on active safety systems.
“We are spending significantly more money in active research rather than passive,” Carlson said to the Europe congress.
Considering that Autoliv ranks among the top 20 global suppliers – with worldwide sales to automakers of $8.2 billion in 2011 – it seems that Autoliv is poised to take the active auto safety system industry by storm.
But let’s not forget the penalties
Every person needs to be knocked down a peg once in a while, at least for humility’s sake. According to the LA Times, Autoliv was recently knocked down 14.5 million pegs, as in $14.5 million. That’s the fine Autoliv will pay for its role in an auto parts price fixing scandal, as ordered by the United States Justice Department. Autoliv reportedly conspired to manipulate the price of seat belts, air bags and steering wheels sold to U.S. and foreign car makers between 2006 and 2011. Executives at a Japanese parts manufacturer were sentenced to jail time of two years or more.
Autoliv has almost 50,000 workers through the world and operates in 29 countries.
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