Wakana, H., Yamada, M., and Sakairi, M., "Development of Breath-Alcohol-Detection System," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-1498, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-1498.
The problem of high fatal accident rates due to drunk driving persists, and must be reduced. This paper reports on a prototype system mounted on a car mock-up and a prototype portable system that enables the checking of the drivers’ sobriety using a breath-alcohol sensor. The sensor unit consists of a water-vapor-sensor and three semiconductor gas sensors for ethanol, acetaldehyde, and hydrogen. One of the systems’ features is that they can detect water vapor from human-exhaled breath to prevent false detection with fake gases. Each gas concentration was calculated by applying an algorithm based on a differential evolution method. To quickly detect the water vapor in exhaled breath, we applied an AC voltage between the two electrodes of the breath-water-vapor sensor and used our alcohol-detection algorithm. The ethanol level was automatically calculated from the three gas sensors as soon as the water vapor was detected. Thus, the system mounted on a car mock-up could more easily measure breath-alcohol concentration immediately after starting of the measurements than conventional alcohol-detection systems, which require blowing through a mouthpiece. Experiments with drunk participants showed good agreement with the results from conventional alcohol-detection systems.