German conglomerate Bosch on Monday unveiled a new pedal that can alert drivers to poor fuel efficiency or potential road hazards.
The company's active gas pedal connects to the transmission and other important vehicle functions. When its software determines that the driver hits the accelerator too aggressively, the pedal gently vibrates.
Bosch officials noted that a driver's foot is responsible for about 25 percent of overall fuel consumption, and that the pedal's reminders could decrease consumption by 7 percent.
In manual transmission vehicles, the technology can be upgraded to provide drivers of an indication of the best time to shift gears.
Meanwhile, in hybrid cars that can "coast" with the engine turned off, the pedal can alert drivers when that transition makes sense -- and can inform them to ease off the pedal when the engine resumes operation.
“The pedal tells the driver when the economy and acceleration curves intersect,” said Stefan Seiberth, president of Bosch's Gasoline Systems division.
In addition, officials said that the software can be easily tailored to accommodate a wide range of automaker specifications related to navigation, camera or warning systems.
The pedal can, for example, send a haptic signal to the driver to avoid speeding, collisions, wrong-way drivers, traffic jams or taking dangerous turns.