A meddling gas pedal may be the key to improving fuel efficiency. Nissan has announced it will soon sell cars that push back when drivers try to drive too fast. The new “ECO Pedal” system presses back upward when it senses drivers are driving too quickly. Think of it as the mindless version of the Kiwi or all those iPhone apps.
Nissan Motor says its ECO Pedal uses a counter push-back control mechanism that detects excess pressure which will help drivers know when they’re using more fuel than required. An eco-driving indicator in the dashboard feeds the driver with real-time fuel consumption levels to help improve driving behavior. It flashes and changes colors to let drivers know when to ease up on the pedal. A green light means the driver is at optimal fuel consumption. When you feel like wasting fuel, the system can be turned off. The ECO Pedal system is fed data on the rate of fuel consumption and transmission efficiency during acceleration and cruising and calculates the optimum acceleration rate.
Nissan says it plans to commercialize the ECO Pedal next year and its own research show that drivers can improve fuel efficiency, depending on driving conditions, by 5-10%. The car company isn’t saying yet how much the ECO Pedal will add to the price of its cars. But a cheaper option is borrowing my mother and she’ll tell you when you’re driving too fast. Until the ECO Pedal is available, take my mother, please!