- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2008

TOKYO | Nissan Motor Co. will soon sell cars that push back when drivers try to put the pedal to the metal.

The Japanese carmaker announced Monday its new “ECO Pedal” system, which lifts the gas pedal when it senses motorists are speeding up too quickly.

Nissan said the system, which will be available next year, can help drivers improve fuel efficiency 5 percent to 10 percent.

It calculates the most efficient rate of acceleration in a vehicle based on how fast fuel is being burned and other factors, and causes the gas pedal to push back to alert overzealous drivers. A special meter on the dashboard flashes and changes colors to help drive the message home.

Nissan said the system is designed to help drivers become more fuel efficient behind the wheel. Part of the company’s strategy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions is modifying driving behavior.

Drivers can also opt to turn the system off.

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