GM to Expand Brake Override Software Globally by 2012


Since the Toyota unintentional acceleration gas petal problem, GM doesn’t want to become the new statistic of this woe, it has been quietly working behind the scene to come up with the “enhanced smart petal” technology. It hopes to deploy the “enhanced smart petal” technology globally to all of its passenger cars with automatic transmission and electronic throttle control by the end of 2012.

This is not a new technology, GM has had for a few years a braking override system in its vehicles, which requires the brakes to stop the vehicle within a specific distance. Now, GM is expanding the brake override system into the acceleration system. This new system not only override the braking system but also reduce engine power if it detects a runaway car. GM is trying to create a digital system to automatic override the electronic controls to reduce power to the engine in cases where the brake and accelerator petal are being depressed at the same time.

“News media analyses of government data consistently validates that GM’s safety record on this issue is among the strongest in the industry,” said Tom Stephens, vice chairman, GM Global Product Operations.  “At the same time, we know safety is top of mind for consumers, so we are applying additional technology to reassure them that they can count on the brakes in their GM vehicle.”

Basically, by the year 2012, every new GM car would have this fail-safe system to stop a runaway car; the automatic braking and engine power reduction (enhanced smart petal) safety features.