Would you be okay with your car bossing you around if it saved you fuel, and therefore money? Bosch is hoping that you won't mind a few extra pointers on the road with its new active gas pedal, which the company believes can decrease fuel consumption by 7 percent.
Of course, creating a smart gas pedal is a complicated endeavor. By connecting to a vehicle's various electronic systems, it can use haptic feedback (Bosch mentions vibration, knocking and variable pedal resistance) to tell the driver when to shift, when to cut back on wasteful acceleration and even when a hybrid vehicle is about to switch from electric- to gas-based propulsion.
While going green is a big part of this new pedal, there's also a safety angle to it. Not only can the pedal be linked to active safety systems like forward collision warning or parking sensors, but it could also connect to the navigation system to prevent drivers from taking corners with too much chutzpah. And once vehicle-to-vehicle technology becomes common, the pedal can be used to warn drivers of upcoming hazards like potholes or stopped vehicles.
While many aspects of Bosch's pedal are new, the overarching idea technically is not. Infiniti's had its Eco Pedal option available since at least 2010, but it only provides variable resistance -- no vibrations or integration with other systems.