- Blow to go. Car checks for alcohol before starting

Is this nanny-state car a step too far?

First UK journalist to test drive new SEAT Cristobal super-safe concept car

WHEN A Spanish minister’s son died in a car crash, local car giant SEAT vowed to create a car so safe it would eliminate road deaths.

Tellingly, when I ask Stefan Ilijevic, the inventor of the resulting Cristobal prototype, when he gets his best ideas — expecting “In the bath” or similar — he answers: “When the president of Spain tells you to.”

Whatever the motivation, the results could be transformative.

I climb into the Cristobal beside Ilijevic, who is officially SEAT’s Head of Predevelopment, Patents and Innovation, as the first UK reporter allowed behind the wheel. “PLEASE BLOW NOW” booms the car after pressing the Start button. The car won’t even start until I’ve been breathalysed, but as my last gin was 16 hours prior, I pass.

It remains to be seen whether customers would be willing to wait the 20 seconds for their own car to analyse their breath before being allowed to hit the road, but this — and a lot of Cristobal’s features — can be turned on only for certain users. Your young adult children, for example, or booze-loving uncle Steve.


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Comments (6)

  • Omg. It’s got an app too! The breathalyser interlock has been round for a long time and can be retro fitted to almost any vehicle. It’s nothing new. It’s not a safety feature per se, its intention is to stop drunken idiots driving. Those who abrogate their responsibility when driving.

      2 years ago
  • Wow a car that is like being with your mum everyday. I think it won't be popular, but the breathalyser item is clever

      2 years ago
  • Once the car is running, will it continue to run without more breath samples being provided? Does it recognise a mate leaning across to blow in the tube?

    I’ve heard of this idea before but it has so many simple ways to bypass it that I didn’t think anyone would actually implement it.

      2 years ago
    • It's clever stuff, and uses the eye tracking software to ensure the driver's doing the breathalyser, not the passenger.

        2 years ago
  • Interesting. The proliferating range of car tech has no bounds.

      2 years ago