Aug. 31, 2009

Toyota Motor Corporation
Hino Motors, Ltd.

TMC, Hino to Test Breathalyzer Ignition-interlock System

Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) and Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) announce that, as part of their efforts to eradicate drunk driving, they will jointly test a breath-alcohol ignition-interlock system* under development by TMC.   The system, aimed to aid companies and organizations better manage their fleet-vehicle operations, will be installed on selected trucks and other vehicles of Japanese transport companies and tested from September 1 to November 30.

The tests will verify system functionality, particularly ease-of-use in real-world situations.  Tests will include drivers conducting self-breath tests before they operate a vehicle and, after vehicle use, fleet administrators monitoring and verifying the test results automatically recorded on the vehicle's digital tachograph.

The system features a hand-held unit containing both a breathalyzer that can detect alcohol in a small breath sample and a digital camera that photographs the driver's face for test-taker identification.  If the test result is positive, the system either warns the driver or locks the vehicle's ignition, depending on the level of alcohol detected.  The system thus prevents drivers from operating vehicles in an inebriated state, while follow-up instructions given by fleet administrators aim to further reduce the possibility of alcohol-related traffic accidents.

In conjunction with the tests to be conducted by TMC and Hino, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) will install the system in a vehicle under lease from TMC and conduct tests during everyday use.

TMC and Hino plan to provide results from the testing to an MLIT council on new technologies to prevent drunk driving, while TMC also intends to apply the test results to improving the system.


Hand-held breathalyzer and camera unit Breath testing
Hand-held breathalyzer
and camera unit
  Breath testing

System-use flow

1. Before vehicle use, driver uses hand-held unit with breathalyzer to test own breath and take photograph of own face for test-taker identification; results automatically recorded on digital tachograph
2. If breath-test result is positive, warning is issued or vehicle ignition is locked, with fleet administrators then contacted by driver; safety instructions, such as telling driver to wait, are then given by fleet administrators
3. After vehicle use, driver provides tachograph data to fleet administrators
4. Fleet administrators verify records of breathalyzer checks as part of daily vehicle-operation management


*Prevents ignition engagement

End