Tactile Feedback FTW
Nissan's ECO Pedal is a great idea. We've known for a while that giving drivers some feedback on their fuel consumption helps them drive more efficiently (and more sanely!). The most obvious example is the LCD screen in the Toyota Prius, but there are other ways of providing that feedback. Ford has an instrument cluster that grows leaves to 'reward' you for efficient driving, and Nissan has a gas pedal that provides tactile feedback. This was too clever to stay a Nissan-only feature, so they're now licensing it.
Here's how the ECO Pedal works: "When the ECO Pedal system is on, each time the driver exerts excess pressure on the acceleration pedal, the system counteracts in advance with a pedal push-back control mechanism (tactile indicator) to support drivers for more effective, fuel-efficient driving. Studies show that effective eco-driving behavior with ECO Pedal drive assist contributes to improve fuel efficiency from 5 to 10% (based on internal measurement) in many driving conditions."
Nissan developed the ECO Pedal with Mikuni, and both companies have signed an agreement to license this technology to other companies. If such a simple thing can reduce fuel consumption by 5-10%, every car should have one!
Via Nissan, ABG
More on Green(er) Cars
EPA Found that Gas Mileage Improved 7% to Record-Breaking 22.4 MPG In 2009 Car Fleet
Chevrolet Cruze Eco Rated at 42 MPG on Highway (And It's Not a Hybrid)
Toyota Unveils the Prius PLUS Performance Package
Toyota is Turning Old NiMH Batteries Into New Batteries
Nissan Launches the Fuga Hybrid in Japan (Coming to US as an Infiniti in 2011)
Volvo to Make Plug-In Diesel Hybrid Based on V60 Wagon in 2012
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid to be Eligible for $1,300 Tax Credit