18-549 Embedded Systems Design
Spring 2012
Team 13

Smart Start Ignition Interlock

  • Driver must blow into the device to start the car, then blow into the device periodically while driving
  • Target audience is for people convicted of DUIs, who must use this device during probation. The device keeps track of when and how many times the driver goes over the limit when blowing into the device
  • $85 for installation fee + first month subscription, then $75/month
  • Driver must complete a form, watch a training video, and bring car to certain DMVs where the installation is available
BBackSafe can be used by the general public; anyone who is concerned about drunk driving. The driver only needs to pass the breathalyzer test once in the BBackSafe device, since it may be dangerous to use the device while driving. It will not require the user go through many steps to install in device; the user can purchase it and install it easily. BBackSafe also does not require a monthly fee to be paid.

Taka TruTouch BAC Reader
  • Driver places his/her finger against a scanning pad and the device detects the BAC. The device will prevent the car from starting if the driver's BAC is above a certain level
  • Place your ungloved finger against the pad and the IR beam senses the BAC
  • The system will not be on the market in another estimated 8-10 years
  • Must be installed into the car during manufacture
  • Estimated to cost about $200, developed with help of a $2.25 million grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
BBackSafe is a cheaper, simpler device that is not required to be built into the car during manufacture. The TruTouch Reader will not be in the market in another 8-10 years; in the meanwhile, drivers can purchase BBackSafe, which not only prevents a drunk person from driving but also alerts an emergency contact should the individual fail the test.

BreathKey Keychain Breathalyzer
  • Device is a keychain that be added to car keys, has no actual interaction with car
  • Can be $70 for a keychain that is +/- 0.010% at 0.080% BAC
  • Does not have an emergency contact system
Unlike a simple keychain breathalyzer that relies on the responsiblity of the user, BBackSafe will actually prohibit the user from driving the vehicle since it prevents the user from starting the car. The keychain breathalyzer simply gives the user a reading of their BAC, while BBackSafe interacts with the car to restrict the user from driving. BBackSafe also has a warning system in place to alert emergency contacts.

SAAB ALcohol Lock-Out Key Fob
  • Key fob with breathalyzer inside
  • Estimated to cost about $400
  • Not yet on the market, unknown when the device will be
  • Would only be available as an accessory to SAAB vehicles
BBackSafe is a simpler, cheaper version of the SAAB Key Fob, and unlike the SAAB Key Fob, it is not only limited to SAAB vehicles and does not need to be integrated with the car during manufacture. BBackSafe also provides a higher level of protection for drivers, as it sends a warning message to an emergency contact should the drunk driver attemp to drive the vehicle.

Easy installation Use with any vehicle Warning system Prohibits driving Price
Saab's Alcokey No No No Yes $400
Breathalyzer Key Chains Yes Yes No No $70
Smart Start Ignition Interlock No Yes Yes Yes $85 + monthly fee
Taka TruTouch BAC Reader No Yes No Yes $200
BBackSafe Yes Yes Yes Yes $150

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