The press release:
Saab AlcoKey Wins Award from the Swedish Automobile Association
Saab Automobile AB has received the Swedish Automobile Association’s award ”Årets Hjulklapp” (This year’s Christmas Present) for making a major contribution to the development of alco-lock devices with its Saab AlcoKey.
Sweden is in the forefront in Europe when it comes to traffic safety. Despite this fact, drink driving is still a serious problem, which last year (2005) accounted for approximately 35 percent of all fatalities in traffic accidents in Sweden.
During a lengthy development program, Saab Automobile AB has worked with solutions to the problems surrounding alcohol consumption and car driving. Saab AlcoKey is a product that, thanks to its user-friendly operation, has the potential to become the first such device in mass production for everyday use. In its award citation the Swedish Automobile Association states:
”One of the most efficient measures to reduce the number of traffic accidents is the incorporation of alco-lock devices as standard in newly produced cars. To achieve reasonable cost levels, create optimal user friendliness and provide technical quality, the car industry must push forward the development process of this safety installation. Saab’s development of – and ongoing field trials with – Saab AlcoKey, will have strategic importance for safer traffic conditions and will, at the same time, contribute to a beneficial development of competition in the car market as a whole.”
Smaller than a mobile phone, the slim Saab AlcoKey module incorporates a flip-top cover with a mouth piece where the driver provides a breath sample before starting the car. A radio transmitter then sends a signal to the car’s electronic control unit. This will either allow the car to be started, or keep it immobilized if the breath sample is found to contain alcohol above the permitted legal level.
This is the seventh year that the Swedish Automobile Association has given its annual award, which is designed to encourage individuals, organisations or companies that are innovative and outstanding within the fields of traffic safety, car safety and the environment. This year’s ”Årets Hjulklapp” consists of a diploma and a sum of money amounting to 5000 Swedish kronor.
Last year’s “Årets Hjulklapp” was awarded to a campaigner for environmentally-friendly cars, Mattias Goldmann, in recognition of his successful work in generating awareness of environmentally-friendly cars. Previous recipients of “Årets Hjulklapp” are: the whiplash researcher Maria Krafft (2000); children-in-car safety researcher Thomas Thurbell (2001); a team of teachers in Kristianstad who developed road-user training in elementary school (2002); the car consumer TV show “Trafikmagasinet” at SVT in Falun (2003); and traffic police in the Örebro region for the prioritizing of a police presence on roads before the installation of speeding cameras (2004).