73% of smokers in the U.S. smoke in their vehicles.1 After a long day at work, they often smoke as soon as they get into their vehicle on their ride home. While smokers are certainly free to smoke in their own vehicles, smoking in autonomous vehicles that are later used by other people presents a problem. Many non-smokers are bothered if the autonomous vehicle arrives smelling like smoke. In fact, 85% of non-smokers insist on smoke-free vehicles.1 The smoke odor can seep into the clothing and bags of the non-smokers. Non-smokers prefer autonomous vehicle companies that provide smoke-free vehicles.
  • Without a driver present, preventing smoking in autonomous vehicles is problematic.
  • With many passengers using each vehicle each day, determining who smoked in the vehicle can be challenging.
  • Removing the potent odor of cigarette smoke in vehicles is expensive.


The solution is for the system to effectively discourage smoking in the vehicle, and when necessary, automatically clean the vehicle. A few examples of our solutions are described below. Please contact us to learn about additional solutions.

Intellectual Property

U.S. Patent 10,223,844

U.S. Patent Application 16/362,509

Additional patents pending


Drivent would like to integrate these helpful features into your autonomous vehicle systems.

0 %
of smokers smoke in vehicles1
0 %
of non-smokers insist on smoke-free vehicles1


Reliably detecting smoking in autonomous vehicles is important. You may think detection is as simple as installing a smoke detector from a hardware store, but there are a few complicating factors that our technologies overcome. For example, vaping can be handled differently than cigarette smoking (due to odors associated with vaping typically being much less noticeable to future passengers).


As soon as smoking is detected, the system can minimize damage to the vehicle and take steps to encourage the passenger to stop smoking immediately. For example, the vehicle can roll down the windows, filter the air, slow or stop the vehicle, and warn the smoker of fines. We have worked on many other ways to stop smoking in autonomous vehicles.


The system can take a picture of the passenger smoking to act as evidence. Knowing that a picture has been taken often encourages the passenger to stop smoking. The system can notify an entity responsible for the vehicle that a passenger smoked in the vehicle. The notification can include an identification of the person who smoked in the vehicle.


Removing smoke odor is difficult, expensive, and time consuming. Typically, the vehicle must be vacuumed to remove particles from carpets and seats. Many auto detail shops also steam clean the vehicle. Hard surfaces must be wiped down. Then, deodorizers are used on all surfaces and in the ventilation system.

Fining the passenger can help recoup at least part of the cleaning expenses. Letting passengers know in advance that smoking will result in fines is a powerful deterrent.

Our technology can fine the passenger in response to detecting smoke. 


After a person has smoked in the vehicle, a top priority is cleaning the vehicle to remove the offensive odor. On one hand, the vehicle needs to be cleaned to avoid alienating future passengers. On the other hand, the vehicle needs to be placed back into service as quickly as possible to minimize lost profits due to downtime.

Our technology can clean the vehicle automatically in response to the vehicle detecting smoke (e.g., over a certain threshold). As a result, smoke odor does not alienate future passengers and the vehicle can be placed back into service quickly.

We would love to integrate these solutions into your autonomous vehicle systems.

U.S. fire departments respond to 168,000 vehicle fires per year.2 How can autonomous vehicles protect passengers from vehicle fires?