TORONTO, Friday, March 3, 2017–Alcohol Countermeasure Systems (ACS) announces the issuance of United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) patent on Jan. 24, 2017for the “Apparatus for Assessing or Mitigating Insurance Risk” invention; patent no. US 9,552,681 B2.
The invention is similar to an ignition interlock in that it records the presence of breath alcohol in a breath sample, the operational history of the vehicle and when the device is removed from the vehicle. However, it does not interfere with the operation of a vehicle and it does not record the concentration of breath alcohol above the legal limit.
“The target audience for this invention is the insurance industry, providing a solution to those customers wishing to prove they do not drink and drive, in exchange for the possibility of reduced insurance premiums. The device is installed by a third party for a prescribed period of time,” says Bill Burger, Director of Automotive and Aftermarket–Alcohol Countermeasure Systems (ACS).
A breath test is provided prior to the vehicle being started with on-screen prompts guiding the user through the test sequence.
The device records the breath samples as: satisfactory, no breath sample provided or unsatisfactory. If a breath sample is unsatisfactory due to an alcohol concentration above the set threshold, the vehicle operator will be prompted to submit an additional breath sample after a 5 minute lockout period. If unsatisfactory for a reason other than alcohol concentration, the time period to provide a subsequent test will be 5 – 15 seconds. Lockout periods can be longer, shorter or omitted.
Driving the vehicle without providing a breath test or after providing a breath test above the alcohol threshold set by the insurer would be considered negatively by the insurer. The insurer could also configure the device to randomly request additional tests during the driving period.
Hard-wired or connected to the vehicle using a standard communication port or OBD system, the device provides real-time data from the vehicle. When connected via OBD-II, the device also captures: the vehicle’s running status, engine RPM, distance travelled (from the OBD system or GPS), along with which vehicle the device is attached to and when it is detached. If hard-wired, details on ignition signal and engine status can also be collected.
Once removed from the vehicle, the insurance provider will have details on daily driving habits including: number of vehicle starts per day, number of failed alcohol tests per day, distance driven and distance driven with a failed alcohol test. The device contains anti-circumvention technology; any evidence of tampering will be viewed negatively.
“The device provides security for the driver; any evidence collected will not be used to his or her prejudice, since the device does not record levels of alcohol consumed in association with criminal operation,” says Bill Burger.
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