Swedish firm Autoliv will assist in the recently announced US alcohol sensing feasibility project co-sponsored by the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The project invokes developing a quicker, low-cost and less intrusive in-vehicle alcohol-detection system, aimed at preventing impaired-driving to reduce the number of alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

Autoliv plans to use infrared spectroscopy as the sensing principle for both alcohol and CO² for correlation and to identify small variations in the air composition within an arm-length to the driver’s mouth and nose.

The project’s initial phase is expected to finish by July 2010.

According to NHTSA estimates, alcohol contributes to nearly one-third of all US traffic fatalities.