Automotive applications of laser based sensing address on the one hand control of pollutants emitted by cars, most importantly by the combustion engines. For this purpose CO, CO2, as well as different nitrogen-oxygen compounds can be monitored quantitatively.

Laser based sensing can be used as well to prevent drunk driving.

Further examples of nanoplus sensing lasers for automotive applications include:

Application of nanoplus lasers - US Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS)

The DADSS Research Programm gives an update on the technologies and challenges of the alcohol detection system. nanoplus designs lasers for the touch-based alcohol sensor of the project.

Alcohol sensor: C2H6O
New technology will put an end to drunken driving. In June 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shared progress on the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) research program, which focuses on the development of technology that will prevent intoxicated drivers from moving their cars. When ready, the alcohol detection system will be made available as a safety option in new vehicles – like automatic braking, lane departure warning, and other advanced driver assist vehicle technologies.

In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in the United States in car crashes involving drunk drivers. In the past 30 years, 401,404 people have died in drunk-driving crashes. With an accurate and reliable alcohol detection system, such numbers could soon belong to the past.

“The message today is not “’Can we do this?’ but ‘How soon can we do this?’” said Mark Rosekind, NHTSA administrator. “It is a huge step forward.”

Two different technologies that measure the driver’s blood alcohol content have been making progress since 2008: a breath-based system, placed in the driver’s side door or in the steering column, which will measure the concentration of alcohol molecules in the driver’s exhaled breath; and a touch-based system that measures alcohol content by shining a beam of infrared light onto a driver’s fingertip when it is placed on the car’s ignition button or on the gear shift. A video published by the DADSS research program illustrates these technologies.

nanoplus is proud to be part of the team developing lasers for the touch-based sensor, in cooperation with Takata and TruTouch Technologies.

More information may be found at [97, 98]

Emission control of exhaust fumes: CO2
Remote sensing technologies identify unclean vehicles on the road. They help to control traffic-generated carbon dioxide emissions. [116]

Emission control of exhaust fumes: CO2 and NOx
Guided by environmental policies, the automobile industry is concerned to reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles. Automotive suppliers develop innovative combustion engines to control CO2 and NOx concentration in exhaust fumes. [116]

Optimization of internal combustion engines: H2O
The automotive industry designs new engines to increase fuel efficiency and reduce pollutant emission. Exhaust gas recirculation has become a standard technology for emission control. A newly developed laser hygrometer measures water vapour in such engines with microsecond time resolution and in situ. This method helps to rapidly quantify recirculated gas fractions and to eventually optimize combustion. [47]

Emission control: NOx
NH3 is added in combustion processes to reduce emissions of the flue gas NOx. The two compounds will react to uncritical N2 and H2O. To avoid any corrosive or environmental effects from overuse, the gas volume needs to be continuously monitored. [3, 72, 117, 118]

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