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Bosch's Haptic Pedal Can Help Drivers Save At The Pumps

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【Summary】Bosch is developing a gas pedal with haptic feedback that is capable of reducing the amount of gasoline drivers use by seven percent.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Jan 14, 2017 2:05 PM PT
Bosch's Haptic Pedal Can Help Drivers Save At The Pumps

Haptic feedback is quickly becoming a new type of technology that automakers utilize in their vehicles as an addition to its safety features. Steering wheels, for instance, now have haptic feedback capabilities to alert drivers that they are veering beyond the designated line. Bosch, though, has other plans for haptic feedback, which includes increasing the driver's ability to increase their vehicle's fuel economy

How A Gas Pedal Increases Fuel Economy And Safety

Despite the massive improvements in recent times to improve fuel economy, which include turbocharged engines, advanced cruise control systems, and aerodynamic designs, one of the major drawbacks to a vehicle's fuel efficiency is the driver. As IEEE Spectrum points out, poor driving habits can alter a car's fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent. 

Bosch's haptic gas pedal provides drivers with signals that aid them in correcting their poor driving behavior. A prompt is provided to the driver to either push the gas pedal down or ease off of it. If that wasn't enough, the pedal is a connected assistant that can support the driver in differing traffic situations. According to Bosch, "the active gas pedal uses an internal connection to the navigation, powertrain, and driver assistance systems." 

In addition to providing haptic feedback in the name of improved fuel economy, the gas pedal utilizes external data, including information from other cars or a connected infrastructure, which is transmitted through the cloud. Based on the information, the intelligent gas pedal turns into a safety assistant that warns the driver of various situations including: 

- Traffic jams

- High fuel consumption

- Optimal shift times

When it comes to improving fuel economy, Bosch's haptic system informs drivers when to shift gears, optimal opportunities for start-stop coasting, and how to find and maintain a specific speed. To signify different situations, drivers feel either knocking, counterforce, or resistance. 

Bosch believes the new type of technology will not only help drivers save up to seven percent in fuel consumption, but also lower the risk of accidents and make drivers better behind the wheel. 

Here are some examples of how the system works:

- Gas pedal pushes when the driver needs to shift

- Gas pedal vibrates when the vehicle exceeds the recommended speed for optimum fuel efficiency

- Driver feel counter pressure when the vehicle senses the opporutnity to coast

- Drivers feel the gas pedal vibrate when the car's GPS senses a traffic jam ahead

Haptic Pedal In Hybrids

Hybrid cars were specifically made with the intention of saving drivers money on fuel through the combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. Bosch's haptic pedal works differently with hybrid cars than it does with others. 

When the haptic technology senses the hybrid vehicle's electric motor switching to the internal combustion engine for power, it adds flexible resistance to the gas pedal to notify the driver. The goal is to make divers more intuitive to their vehicle and how its systems work to improve fuel economy. 

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