General Motors will install a new brake override safety system, which it calls “an enhanced smart pedal,” in all its cars worldwide by 2012. In reality, GM may only be getting a public-relations jump on an issue that’s going to come its way anyway. The Transportation Department will most likely require the override systems to become mandatory on all cars. A brake override cuts engine speed when the driver alternately steps on both the brake and accelerator as if in a panic mode. GM plans to install the pedal as a software upgrade in the electronic throttle control systems of new vehicles. It already uses such a system on a few performance vehicles, like Chevrolet Corvette.
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