Nissan Developing Anti-Drunk Driving Car, Nick Nolte Rejoices

Nissan has partnered with Japan's University of Occupational and Environmental Health School of Health Sciences (that has to look awesome on a jersey) to study the influence of alcohol in the body in order to better understand how to create pre-emptive drunk driving technologies. The end result of this car will be a drunk driving project car that will help researchers analyze how boozed up drivers operate automobiles. We could think of a few test drivers for this project. Full press release below the jump.

NISSAN'S JOINT-STUDY ON DRUNK DRIVING RECEIVES GRANT SUPPORT

TOKYO (Dec. 17, 2007) - A joint-study on drunk driving, undertaken by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. in collaboration with the University of Occupational and Environmental Health Japan*1, School of Health Sciences, has been awarded a grant from the Kitakyushu Foundation for the Advancement of Industry Science and Technology. The study, to be conducted between July 2007 to March 2008, aims to determine the physiological, psychological and behavioral influences of alcohol in the body.

The grant will allow the study to progress into the second phase, which will focus on data analysis based on data already collected. In the first phase, from October-November, test subjects performed simple simulation exercises on personal computers after alcohol consumption. Data was collected to measure any impact on their physiological, psychological and behavioral responses. In the second stage in December, researchers will collect additional data following the first stage, such as physiological responses. Further analysis of the data will be conducted to map the physiological, psychological and behavioral indices correlating to the alcohol-levels present in the body.

The study offers great significance as Nissan hopes to develop more effective pre-emptive drunk driving technologies. It is critical to fully understand the physiological influence of alcohol on the human body and its metabolic functions. The joint-study will determine the correlation between alcohol-levels and its influence on the processes of recognition, judgement and operation, and therefore explain the how drinking can impair driving ability. The study results can lead to more accurate methods towards the detection of drunk driving.

Nissan is committed to raise awareness on the dangers of drunk driving, and is proactively pursuing various pre-emptive measures. The company will use study results for a drunk driving concept car project, which allows researchers to study how to detect alcohol in a driver, recognize drunk-indicators e.g. drowsiness, impact of drunk driving on vehicle operation e.g. erratic driving, and driver alert measures. Research results will also be used for another test underway at Nissan involving a driving simulator, hoping to better define the impact of alcohol on driving.

In Japan, Nissan's safety vision is to halve the number of traffic fatalities or serious injuries involving Nissan vehicles by 2015 compared with the level in 1995. Nissan introduced the "drunk driving" message alert on its navigation system in June 2007. In July 2007, Nissan in cooperation with several local government authorities, begun trials on a new on-board breathalyzer system where an interlock mechanism immobilizes the vehicle if alcohol above a specified level is detected on the driver's breath. Nissan is committed to pursue the development of various initiatives to help prevent drunk driving, and to contribute to a safer society for people and automobiles.


[Nissan via Automotive World]