How bizarre does this sound? A single pedal that can be used for braking and accelerating could change the way we drive – but are we up for it?
This invention, which has been around for 20 years, is finally getting some attention. It’s brainchild of Japanese inventor Masuyuki Naruse, who claims that putting the brake and acceleration pedals side-by-side is dangerous. His solution is the Naruse pedal, a contraption that puts accelerator and brake on the same foot-activated lever.
Here’s how it works: the accelerator control on Naruse’s pedal is placed on the side of a larger brake pedal, and the foot can nudge it to the right to increase acceleration. To stop the vehicle, the driver just presses down on the pedal. According to Naruse, this will prevent accidents caused by drivers hitting the wrong pedal, accelerating into peril when they are trying to brake.
The recent surge of accelerator-related recalls has made created interest in the idea. Swedish regulators are already testing a single-pedal contraption, and the Naruse pedal has been declared street legal on about 130 individual cars in Japan.
Of course, when a new idea is introduced, there are going to be some nay-sayers. The biggie would be the need for people around the world to relearn the ingrained skill they’ve developed over a lifetime of two-pedal driving. But from engineering and safety standpoints, a single-pedal design actually makes a lot of sense.
Do you think it’s a safer way to drive? Would you be will to drive a car outfitted with this type of pedal? Leave us your comments below.