With Nissan's ECO Pedal, Gas Prices Push Back
For the red-blooded enthusiast, it's the ultimate nightmare: a car that just doesn't want to be driven hard. For the under-frugal and over-cited drivers of the world, Nissan's ECO Pedal could be the mechanical conscience they need to adjust to our eco-friendly, speed-kills society. "Each time the driver steps on the accelarator (sic)," flubs Nissan's press release, "a counter push-back control mechanism is activated if the system detects excess pressure, helping to inform the driver that they could be using more fuel than required." Required for what exactly? An electronically-determined "optimal acceleration" based on transmission efficiency and fuel consumption rates. You know, like how polite people and Buick owners drive. Nissan claims that with the killjoy-graft "drivers can improve fuel efficiency by 5-10 percent, depending on driving conditions." Sadly, the intrusion is not limited to the gas-pedal recalcitrance. An "eco-driving indicator" on the dash stays green if your driving style does (get it?), but flashes and turns amber "to advise the driver of their driving behavior." Or remind the driver that they are merging onto an interstate. Luckily, you will still be able to eke whatever id-fodder is available to Nissan drivers
who would consider this option by switching the nagging thing off. Nissan will "commercialize" the system in 2009, but they don't say what models it 'll be on. If it's cheap and it can be turned all the way off when the less-better angels of our natures need to have their way, it could be worth a look… if you're into that kind of thing.
More by Edward Niedermeyer