Case study: Ecuador deploys kiosks to keep drunk bus drivers off roads

 
Nov. 17, 2011 | by Cherryh A. Butler

Kiosks are helping to ensure that bus drivers in Ecuador are sober while on the clock. The country recently deployed kiosks at nearly every bus terminal to test blood-alcohol levels of drivers at the start and end of their shifts.

The governement wanted a way to keep their bus drivers accountable, said Ricardo Anton, former executive director of the Ecuadorian Transit Authority, and decided breathalyzer kiosks were the way to go.

"The problem became pedestrian accidents in which intoxicated bus drivers were actually striking, and in some cases, causing the death of pedestrians along their routes," Anton said.

The partnership

Lifeloc, a Colorado-based manufacturer of breathalyzers, had the testing equipment to accurately measure Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) through breath testing, but that wasn't enough. The Ecuadorian government needed the breathalyzer to be protected, automated and connected to central administration and databases, said John Rhoades, marketing manager of Lifeloc Technologies, which is why it brought on KIOSK Information Systems based in Louisville, Colo.

Ecuador's need was unique; building a breathalyzer kiosk for a professional and industrial application had never been done before, but KIOSK was up for the challenge, according to Richard Freeman, account manager for KIOSK. He said the company's experience with other complex kiosk requests, including biometric identification, gave the company a head start.

"We've also integrated weights and scale devices for health monitoring kiosks as well as postal," he said. "Our Greenopolis kiosks integrate scanners to detect and identify materials. Integrating a device which samples a user characteristic has its challenges but this expertise coupled with KIOSK speed to market is one of our key differentiators. "

Kiosk and Lifeloc worked together to create a solution that gives Ecuador's public transportation system a leap forward in operational management capability, not to mention safety, Freeman said. In 2011, Lifeloc delivered more than 50 kiosks for installation in 22 provinces across Ecuador.

How it works

Drivers log into the system by using an identification card that the kiosk scans.

Once logged in to their personal accounts, the screen prompts them through their tests. The results are then automatically stored within the drivers' accounts and also go to the central dispatch administrator. If a driver fails his alcohol test, his shift is ended immediately; 0.1 is the level of alcohol permitted for professional drivers.

The kiosk also allows managers to generate reporting on driver's history; the system has already become one of the best-organized safety tracking systems in the country, Rhoades said.

"The kiosk solution now in use in Ecuador is a shining example of how innovation and smart strategic partnerships can not only create new industrial tools, but also that they can also turn good intentions into a safer world," he said.

Read more about custom kiosks.


Cherryh A. Butler / Cherryh Butler has been a reporter for nearly 10 years, writing on a variety of topics ranging from the restaurant industry to business and health and fitness news. Before joining FastCasual.com as editor, she oversaw KioskMarketplace.com and PizzaMarketplace.com and contributed to RetailCustomerExperience.com. She's also written for several daily newspapers, magazines and websites, including The Kansas City Star and American Fitness magazine.
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