What a waste of electronics

This little gem came across the Reuters wire today (can’t find a link though):

Nissan develops “eco” pedal to assist smart driving

TOKYO, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co said on Monday it has developed an accelerator pedal that can push back on the driver’s foot when it detects excess pressure and poor fuel efficiency.

Japan’s No.3 automaker said it would install the “ECO pedal”, which can be switched on or off by the driver, in its cars from next year. It didn’t specify which models would be equipped with the new technology.

Now, I love Nissan (for obvious reasons), but they’ve gone off the deep end here. I don’t want my car to moan at me just because I want to accelerate past some bloody Volvo driver. I want it to register the push on the accelerator pedal and do what I tell it to do.

I don’t mind if my car intervenes when I’m doing something actively unsafe, like throwing the car into a spin on an icy road and skidding backwards into a tree at a million miles an hour. In that case, sure, I’d like traction control to kick in and save me so I can spin another day.

But if the car is complaining because I’m driving it too hard, then things have gone too far.

And think about the consequences. If this technology takes off, everyone will start walking lopsidedly – it’s going to create an entire generation of drivers with unnaturally muscular right legs.

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3 Responses to What a waste of electronics

  1. Si says:

    Yeah I’d rather walk. Actually, I’d rather have both my legs amputated and pull myself along the ground with my arms…
    It’s in the same class as the “you forgot to put your seatbelt on and I’m going to yell at you even though you’re driving on private property at 20 km/h and aren’t legally required to wear a seatbelt” beepy noise. Unhelpful technology that is essentially calling the driver stupid. And drivers (consumers for that matter) do NOT like to be told they are stupid.
    You don’t have to worry about it taking off due to popularity. People simply won’t buy cars with that fitted. Or if they do it will be permanently switched off.
    The only way we’d see it go mainstream is if it was mandated by safety authorities or greenies (God forbid).

  2. Zac says:

    I don’t know what’s wrong with you guys! This smart pedal thing isn’t stopping you from driving the way you want to drive. It is just giving some feedback.
    To me this seems like a cool way for the car to help the driver understand where their fuel is going. The driver will be able to feel when they are pushing their car hard. Obviously the pedal isn’t going to push back with so much force that it will be difficult to accelerate.
    It isn’t a matter of nagging the driver, or telling the driver that they are stupid. It is just feedback. In the past, drivers could hear when their car was working hard, but that isn’t so much the case anymore because cars are much quieter in general. Some cars have visual displays with similar information, but looking at the displays takes your eyes off the road – so these displays aren’t so useful. This pedal thing seems like a good alternative feedback mechanism. Besides, it says in the quote that you can turn off this feature anyway. So like I said, I don’t know what has got you two so upset.

  3. Josh says:

    The problem is that it’s unnecessary technology. You already know when your car’s working hard because you’re smashing the loud pedal against the firewall and the fuel gauge has suddenly gone from “F” to “E”. What more feedback do you need?

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