A car pedal for the lead foot in your family

Speeding wastes gas, causes accidents, and generally diminishes the driving experience of other drivers. Most nudges to cut down on speeding have come from traffic planners. Now a car maker, Nissan, comes along with a nudge of its own: ECO Pedal. From the Associated Press:

Nissan’s “ECO Pedal” system — promoted as being both green and safe — makes the gas pedal press upward when it senses motorists are speeding up too quickly. Nissan said in a news release Monday the system, which will be available next year, can help drivers improve fuel efficiency 5 to 10 percent.

The system calculates the most efficient rate of acceleration in a vehicle based on how fast fuel is being burned and other factors and causes the gas pedal to push back to alert overzealous drivers. A special meter on the dashboard flashes and changes colors to help drive the message home.

Nissan plans to offer the pedal beginning in 2009. In true libertarian paternalism form, drivers can opt to turn the system off. Nissan’s press release has a graphic on how a drivers acceleration is altered by ECO Pedal.

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One Response to “A car pedal for the lead foot in your family”

  1. Christopher Monnier Says:

    I hope Nissan follows this up with the “ECO Brake Pedal.” It might not be possible given the fact that the full capacity of brakes needs to be available at any given instant, but it would definitely be helpful (both from a traffic perspective and from a fuel efficiency perspective) to limit the actions of brake-happy drivers.

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