Drunk driving is a serious problem. Over the past five years or so, various companies have been able to put breathalyzers in the hands of those drinking alcohol. People can even purchase retail breathalyzers as a fail-safe way to make sure they are “ok” to drive home and not impaired. In other cases the justice system hands out breathalyzers to those convicted of drunk driving. Often times those breathalyzers are tied into the cars ignition system to make sure the vehicle can not be driven if the driver is intoxicated.
A Montreal startup called Sobersmart has incorporated the use of a smartphone with a breathalyzer to make it even smarter. Sobersmart is part hardware in a fob-sized breathalyzer (pictured above) and part app readily available from the App Store. The app can function as a standalone without the breathalyzer component.
Together the system has three modes: parents/kid, driver, and taxi:
-PARENTS / KID: In a parent / kid setup, the kids use Sobersmart wherever they are before driving and the parent app gets a notification and a variety of options for their safe return. You can even get your car’s location if you have to pick it up later!
-DRIVER: The driver setup is the classic breathalyzer mode. It measures your blood alcohol level and provide you with alternatives to get back home safely if it’s elevated.
-TAXI: Under the TAXI configuration, a taxi driver is hailed automatically by the Sobersmart app. It accepts payments straight through the app, draws funds from the prepaid taxi account, or allows a parent or friend to sponsor a cab ride if someone is short on cash after a long night.
Sobersmart is currently crowdfunding $75,000 for their first production run. The team has already won several accolades including winning “The Grandmother Judges Panel” at the International Startup Festival. They also ranked top 3 overall at the ISF.