Nissan's revealed plans to install what it's calling the "ECO Pedal" system in models next year. The technology makes the gas pedal press upward when it senses motorists are speeding up too quickly. Although Nissan says the system can help drivers improve fuel efficiency 5 to 10 percent, we say it's the ultimate nanny technology that should never see life.
The "ECO Pedal" calculates the most efficient rate of acceleration in a vehicle based on how fast fuel is being burned combined with other factors. The system causes the gas pedal to push back to alert overzealous drivers when it deems you're pushing the pedal too fast.
The pedal technology is Nissan's newest addition to the vehicle technology tine of their three-pronged approach to reducing carbon dioxide emissions: improvements in vehicle technologies, driving behaviour and traffic conditions. We liked the last idea of equipping all new cars with a fuel consumption indicator, which indicates the optimal level for fuel-efficient driving by displaying a green, flashing or amber light.
Jalopnik Snap Judgment: This may be one of the worst ideas we've yet heard of. Although you'll be able to turn the system off, this type of technology is yet another example of an unnecessary feature designed to nanny drivers too stupid to realize they're supposed to reduce their speed and speed fluctuation to maintain high fuel economy. Frankly, we're more concerned what will happen when a driver needs to overtake another vehicle at high speed on a highway or just as scary — crossing a dotted middle line to pass a truck. How much would it suck to be in the oncoming lane? This feature needs to die before it even hits the streets.
[AP via Detroit News]