General Motors will expand use of “enhanced smart pedal” technology globally to all passenger cars with automatic transmissions and electronic throttle control, including hybrids and the Volt. Also known as brake override, the change involves modifying existing electronic controls to reduce power to the engine in cases where the brake and accelerator pedal are being depressed at the same time. The global rollout will be completed by the end of 2012.
For electrics/hybrids, brake override operates on the same principle as an internal combustion engine. The brake override algorithm works with the hybrid controller and pulls out electric motor command to reduce the torque from the battery. The Volt will have brake override enabled at launch, according to a GM spokesperson.
GM has had for the past several years a braking performance standard that applies to all cars, trucks and crossovers, requiring that the brakes can stop the vehicle within a specific distance. Brake override is an additional safeguard.
GM currently has brake override enabled in the following vehicles: Chevrolet Corvette, Camaro V8, Malibu L4, Colorado V8, Cobalt, HHR, GMC Canyon V8, and Cadillac CTS-V and STS-V.
GM says that the rollout plan balances the speed of implementation with validation needed to assure that customers feel no deterioration in drivability.