Drunken driving is one of the major problems today, this causes several deaths every year across the world. Here is a simple method of sensing alcohol in the breath of the driver i.e. Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) is used. This reading will help in locking the car ignition and sending an SMS text message to alert the authorities. It makes a normal car a smart car. The embedded system solution which is used here gave good results in the experiments conducted by us. It has very high sensitivity, fast response and long lifetime. If this system is implemented in the future cars, it can provide a cost-effective and power-efficient solution to the major social problem of drunken driving.
Drunken driving has been one of the main reasons behind road accidents. Driving under the influence of alcohol has affected and killed countless of people’s lives. If someone drinks and drives, not only does he possibly put himself at risk, but his passengers and pedestrians, and other people, who are on the road, are at a greater risk as well. Every thirty minutes someone’s life is cut short and families are devastated. Road accidents cause 1.2 million deaths and 50 million injuries every year around the world. Out of which 480,000 deaths and 20 million injuries are caused by drunken driving only.
Governments are taking steps to prevent drunk driving by introducing new laws like recently Supreme Court of India has ordered to close all the liquor shops near the highways. A driver having blood alcohol level of 30 mg per 100ml of blood is considered drunk according to the Indian law. The traffic police have also been provided with alcohol sensor tools to check whether the driver is drunk or not. According to the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 a person can get an imprisonment of up to six months and penalty up to two thousand rupees. These steps have obviously reduced the road accidents due to drunk driving to some extent but have not been able to stop it completely. Had the car been smart enough to detect whether the driver is drunk or not and lock its ignition accordingly, accidents due to drunk driving can be rooted completely.
Our system aims to change that with automated, transparent, noninvasive alcohol safety check in vehicles i.e. it aims at making the car smart. For increasing the road safety there is work going on in the development of Intelligent Transportation System (ITS). But these works are not specifically directed in one direction. ITS applies various aspects like information processing, safety, comfort and efficiency of the transportation system. Whereas our system a specific solution to drinking and driving problem. There are devices to detect and avoid a collision. But stopping one of the root causes of collision is obviously much more helpful.
Some works which are related to our system are there. There are projects where PIC 16876A controller, an Alcohol sensor, LCD Display and Alarm system is used to notify driver only. IR LED 894 was used in one of the proposed devices. It produces high-intensity IR ray, which means it absorbs alcohol of only high content from the air, so this mechanism will work only when the driver is over drunk. In one case, it was monitoring the toxic gases such as CO2, LPG, and Alcohol from inside area of the vehicle. If there is a high content of gases then an SMS had been sent to the authorized person to notify only as it did not have any car stopping mechanism. GSM has been used to find the location of the car and send an SMS to the authority. There has been a fatigue monitor prototype. It basically had cameras to take pictures of the driver to learn if the driver is fatigued or not. So it employed image processing to recognize drowsiness of the driver.
There are many ways in which car locking can be done. The most commonly used security system for a car namely steering wheel lock where locks are placed on the steering wheels. But here a simpler method of ignition locking is being used.
It is found that the existing systems mostly use PIC or AVR microcontrollers for this purpose. But a Raspberry pPi3 runs at 1.2 GHz speed which is faster than other boards like Arduino which has ATmega microcontrollers. Also, it is good for multitasking as the system will have to do many tasks together unlike the available systems.
Here the car, if running, when senses the driver is drunk will automatically stop running and if the car is off, then on sensing the drunken condition of the driver will not allow him to start the car and at the same time sends a SMS to the concerned authority which can be the local traffic police. We have already implemented and tested the system successfully.