Next Nissan Leaf To Borrow Bumper Car Controls
Nissan's next version of the Leaf Electric Vehicle will launch with the option to drive with just a single pedal. It's a control system you may have come across before - at the fairground on the bumper cars.
Now I'm sure that Nissan has good evidence that this change will make EVs easier to control, and it is a user option to turn this on and off, but I have concerns about how drivers will behave in extremis - those situations outside of the norm which call for instinctive reactions.
The single pedal system is clearly designed to make the most of the regenerative braking systems in the new Leaf, pushing usable range ever higher. In normal day to day driving it's not likely to be a major piece of re-education for drivers who know they are getting something a bit different from the norm.
The day when those same drivers are required to make that emergency stop, that high intensity braking moment when life and limb are at stake, I can't help but wonder if the instinctive movement to slam down the brake pedal will lead to e-Pedal drivers accelerating into exactly the impact they are trying to avoid.
We've seen unintended acceleration incidents happening in automatic cars for many years now. Adding more change into the mix just adds additional risk.
I expect that even with the e-Pedal driving setup enabled the traditional brake pedal will still activate the braking system, so long as drivers remember that there is a second pedal to hit.