Lasers can now be used by the police for much more than speed-limit enforcement, thanks to a team of researchers from Military University of Technology in Warsaw, who have developed a new laser device that is capable of detecting alcohol vapors inside of a moving car. Yeah. That means no more relying on the policemen waiting for you to step out of the car and thus no more human error. The research team from the Institute of Optoelectronics at the University, includes Jarosław Młyńczak, Jan Kubicki, and Krzysztof Kopczyński and together they have published an article titled 'Stand-off detection of alcohol in car cabins' that details the features of this project.
The method of stand-off detection involves use of a chemical and biological compound through a laser and it has been already described in many papers. However, it is only through recent developments that the "eye-safe" microchip lasers have come up, which open up possibilities of their actual applications.
Similar to other laser systems installed on the roads, this one is also used for monitoring each car that passes by. Whenever the device detects alcohol vapors inside a car, a message with a photo of the car including its number plate is sent to a police officer waiting down the road. The researchers believe that the device will also be able to identify cars where the driver is sober but the passengers are not. They also note that the drivers could use countermeasures - such as driving with windows open or using a solar screens on the side windows. But this device is made to detect even that. Therefore, though not full proof, this device can be used actively to prevent drunk driving accidents to a great extent.
Going further, the research team from Warsaw's Military University of Technology, is working on making the device more useful by making it capable of detecting drunk driving even with air-conditioning or fans as well as making the laser device more compact, robust and user-friendly.
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Source: Science Daily | Image Credit: Roadcover