Congress mandates anti-drunk driving technology for cars – TechCrunch

With President Biden's massive infrastructure bill, Congress is pushing for drunk driving to its limits in a major push. We previously reported that one of the provisions mandated anti-drunk driving technology for new cars. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed Congress, with the measure intact. Autoblog (AP reports that the President is expected to sign it soon. The legislation will require car manufacturers to incorporate technology to stop drunk drivers as soon as 2026.
The Department of Transportation must first determine the best way to curb drunk driving. The bill specifically calls for something that "passively monitors the performance of a motorist of a motor car to accurately identify whether that driver may have impaired driving." This sounds very similar to the infrared cameras used by GM, Nissan, and other companies, Sam Abuelsamid, principal mobility analyst at Guidehouse Insights tells the AP. We would need something better than breathalyzers which are used to punish drunk drivers.

According to the NHTSA, drunk driving causes around 10,000 deaths each year in the US. It makes sense to look into ways to prevent these types of accidents, now that we have better sensors and plenty more camera technology to monitor driver behavior. It should be as standard as seatbelts within a decade.

Other safety measures are also included in the infrastructure bill, such as rear seat reminders to notify parents if children are left in car seats. Congress will require automatic emergency brake and lane departure warnings. These features are already standard on many new cars. Although it is not yet clear when self-driving cars may become a reality in the real world, human drivers can still look forward to more ways of preventing accidents.

Editor's Note: This article first appeared on Engadget.