To help meet stricter average mpg ratings imposed by the U.S. government, big auto companies are installing a variety of fuel saving features into new cars, one such feature being stop-start technology.
This tech shuts off the engine when you roll up to a red light or are sitting still in traffic, and instantly starts back up again upon demand.
Other worldwide markets like Europe and Japan already have stop-start in about 40 percent of new cars sold. America is fast gaining new models with the system however, with predictions saying that by 2017, eight million vehicles in North America will be shutting off in traffic by themselves.
Benefits from stop-start systems include fuel savings and a decrease in exhaust emissions, while the main downside is heating and air-conditioning can suffer if the engine is shut off for long periods of time. Customer acceptance has also been an issue, as stop-start systems can feel a little abnormal at first, and because of this need to be very smooth in operation so that the driver barely notices the system in operation.
Although stop-start systems first started coming into North America generally in high-end brands like Mercedes and BMW, the new Kia Rio (shown above) will feature the tech, showing that high production consumer cars are adopting stop-start as a normal system.