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Nissans Get Eco-Conscious Gas Pedal

If you drive as fast as I do, you’re not going to like this. Nissan [NASDAQ:NSANY] is adding a feature to their cars that will curb drivers’ speed in the hopes of improving their fuel economy. No, it’s not a high-tech speed governor, or a computerized warning, but it’s a gas pedal that pushes back on your foot when it detects wasteful acceleration.

According to a graph released by the company, drivers tend to give their cars too much gas when accelerating, which can cost a given car up to 10% of its fuel economy. The logic is simple enough: only a certain amount of fuel is required to get the transmission into the next gear, and there’s no way for a driver to know what that threshold is, exactly. But by early next year, the buyers of select Nissan models will know quite intuitively when they should ease up on the pedal.

Of course, this feature can be turned off, accomodating people that don’t like being told how to drive. But it’s an interesting development in the always-increasing autonomy of our vehicles, which can now park themselves, make their own maintenance appointments, and prevent you from starting them up while intoxicated. We’re a long way from Will Smith’s self-driving Audi in I, Robot, but maybe someday soon we can look forward to having our glove boxes argue speeding tickets for us.

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