The National Safety Commission Alerts

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nissan to Sell Cars that Fight Back When Driver Tries to Speed

Gas Pedal Pushes Up When Driver Pushes Down Too Fast

Not only will the Nissan Motor Co. be soon selling cars that push back when drivers try to put the pedal to the metal, but the Japanese automaker has also developed a test model car equipped with additional sensor technology to make the vehicle crash free.

The features, which were recently made public by Nissan Motor Co., are the latest among recent efforts by the world's automakers to improve their images.

To help avoid collisions, Nissan's collision-free prototype employs sensors at its back and side that fire alarms and brakes. Nissan said the system also aids the vehicle in maintaining a safe distance with the car in front, as well as preventing it from veering off its lane.

In Japan, Nissan is hoping to halve the number of traffic accidents or serious injuries involving their vehicles by 2015 compared to 1995 levels.

Touted as being both green and safe, Nissan's "ECO Pedal" system forces the gas pedals upward when it senses motorists are increasing speed too rapidly. Nissan said the system, which will be available in 2009, could improve fuel efficiency by 5 to 10 percent.

The system calculates the most efficient rate of acceleration in a vehicle based on such factors as how fast fuel is being burned, and causes the gas pedal to push back to alert over-eager drivers. Mounted on the dashboard, a special meter flashes and changes colors to help alert the driver.

According to Nissan, the system was designed to help drivers become more fuel efficient behind the wheel. Modifying driving behavior is part of the company's strategy for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Wallet-busting gas prices and concerns about global warming are pressuring automakers to introduce ecological products. Automakers are also trying to increase value to their offerings by beefing up safety features.

Online courses are now available to educate drivers on the rules of the road and the latest defensive driving techniques. Try it today!

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