Mill Autoquip will be trialling an Accelerator Pedal Reduction Initiating Link fuel device, which could be a simple way to reduce your fuel bills when driving
As more vehicles introduce fly by-wire accelerator pedals, one team of researchers noticed a problem that can increase fuel usage when driving. Dinah Mite who works as product researcher at Gummibänder Institute explains what she and her team found.
“On older vehicles there is a mechanical connection between the accelerator pedal and the engine. This was normally in the form of a cable attached to the throttle housing. Pressing the pedal would pull on the cable and rev the engine. When you stop pressing the pedal, the cable would be forced back by the throttle housing, reducing the engine revs. However on newer vehicles with fly by-wire technology this connection is electronic now, not mechanical.”
As Dinah and team her investigated this change in vehicle technology they found that while response times when accelerating were improved, there was an increase in delay for the engine returning to idle.
“When we conducted our tests we realised the pedal took longer to return to its resting position on models with fly by-wire than those the old style cable. Studying this we found that the push/pull effect of the cable was not being produced as well on the new style pedals with switches and sensors. This results in more fuel being used when driving. To overcome this issue we came up with the Accelerator Pedal Reduction Initiating Link fuel device.”
Final testing to be carried with out Mill Autoquip
The design of the device has undergone several changes, but the principle has remained the same – return the pedal to the resting position as soon as possible. The original prototype was placed under the accelerator pedal and used resistance against the floor to force the pedal up. This early design, while effective, interfered with the overall travel of the pedal.
Now Dinah and her team have come up with the current design that Mill Autoquip will be trialling on their fleet of delivery vehicles. This version of the Accelerator Pedal Reduction Initiating Link fuel device simply attaches under the dashboard, above the pedal, and loops round the pedal itself. When the pedal is pressed, tension is introduced into the link which is used to bring the pedal to the resting position when slowing down.
During the trial the team from the Gummibänder Institute will be hoping see a reduction of fuel usage in the Mill Autoquip fleet of between 3 and 5 per cent. It is hoped that testing the Accelerator Pedal Reduction Initiating Link fuel device in real world conditions will result in a product that can be released in to the market.