Bosch today announced its new connected gas pedal with haptic feedback. The Bosch active gas pedal promises to reduce fuel consumption by seven percent, simply by giving drivers a gentle nudge at the pedal if they're driving with a lead-foot, theoretically telling them to let off the gas a wee bit.
Car makers can connect the Bosch active gas pedal to the vehicle's CAN bus to interact with the navigation, engine, transmission and safety systems. Theoretically, the haptic feedback feature can subtly notify drivers of an optimal shift point for a transmission, work with the navigation system to read speed limit signs and tell the driver to slow down if they're approaching a sharp curve too fast, or give a heads up when a gasoline motor is going to start in hybrid and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEV).
I'm intrigued by a gas pedal with haptic feedback. While audible and visual alerts on forward collision and lane departure systems help, they are very annoying. I find the haptic feedback seat or steering wheel implementations for warnings a lot more pleasant, and they don't annoy passengers, so I imagine the experience is similar with a haptic feedback gas pedal.
As for the fuel economy savings features, the pedal can apply counter pressure so it's harder to fully press down on the pedal, which theoretically results in fuel savings. Nissan's Eco mode in the Leaf and some gasoline models have a similar feature, which I never use, because I prefer to control the pedal myself.
Bosch doesn't say when its active gas pedal will make it into any production cars. However, Bosch is a major automotive parts supplier for German automakers, including: Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and others.