'Smart' Gas Pedal Can Stop Unintended Acceleration

Gas-pedal Unintended acceleration has a simple solution: A “smart” gas pedal that recognizes the brake takes precedence over acceleration. This means if they’re both depressed simultaneously the software forces the engine to respond to only to the brake and decelerate.

A few European automakers already have such a system in their vehicles. BMW made the feature standard in all of its vehicles beginning with the 2005 model year. It uses a drive-by-wire accelerator and BMW’s own software, but the feature only works when the vehicle is in motion in case tough guys want to rev the engine while holding down the brake.

For Toyota’s 3.8 million recalled vehicles, a smart gas pedal system is a potential fix. Toyota has said it won’t redesign the floor mats, and new software is an option.

Other automakers that use a smart pedal system include Audi, which had its own rash of unintended acceleration cases in the ’80s, and Volkswagen. Nissan will have a similar system for the 2010 Infiniti M, and Chrysler says most of its vehicles include the technology, as well.

Smart Gas Pedals May Solve Floor-Mat Problem (Wheels)

Comments 

Dan

I take it you'd have to have a "pedal by wire" system for this to work then, right?

I've got an even simpler solution, don't hit the gas pedal and the brake at the same time by driving like an intelligent human being. Honestly, a piece of software that measures what your pedals are doing and gives precedence to one doesn't seem like the simple solution.

However, this will be entertaining for those that "ride the brakes" on the highway, or rest their foot on the brake pedal. It will be fun to watch them come to a halt.

segfault

Looks like Toyota was caught with their pants down here.

Here's another tech fix I came up with after seeing brake light switch failures on several cars: The car's computer should monitor rates of deceleration, and illuminate the brake lights any time the rate of deceleration exceeds a certain threshold, regardless of the input from the brake light switch. If the failsafe is regularly being activated, it would throw a diagnostic code.

nony

Hopefully this would only be used on cars with automatic transmissions and not pure manual transmissions (versus automated or dual-clutch).

I thought that I read somewhere that the new Audi S4 with manual has this "feature"... so much for heel and toe.

Dave Wuss

What about all the cars on the road that don't have floor mat hooks? Are those manufacturers liable too? This is not about anything malfunctioning rather it's about people lacking common sense.

Carl

Come on now. Stuck gas pedal? What, did everyone forget how to drive? If your gas pedal is stuck on the floor, stand on the brakes. Or turn off the car. Or pop it in neutral. Or use your foot to lift the gas pedal off the floor. They all work and you won't crash. What, did no one ever drive a car before yesterday?

josh

hmmm, learn how to drive better? Sounds pretty ignorant to me as I recently bought my 01 jeep grand cherokee, when i was driving home from work yesterday, going up a hill i started to accelerate and all of a sudden the pedal went to the floor as if the cruise was set to unlimited, and the brakes would not stop this and the engine was full on revving!! I know excactly how to drive and wouldn't have believed this if someone had told me, but is totally true. I came home looked up the incident to see if there was a problem in these vehicles, come to find out there are many incidents(only persons and property were damaged in theirs)I got lucky! all without answers like myself!! Now i am nervous about driving, as I was able to finally force the vehicle in neutral, which is not good with the high rev's can blow the engine. It slowed and then was fine. It is hugely dangerous!! Why no recall, these are peoples lives afterall!!

Michael

Hey, not saying Toyota didn't drop the ball but......people don't know how to hit the breaks, put the car in neutral, shut the car off? Maybe somebody like that should not be driving.

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