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how to sell new cars with new controls

a TV commercial used to sell innovative car control schemes
  [vote for,

You know the traditional controls of a car. Steering wheel, 2 or 3 pedals and a shift lever. There are alternative control systems out there with several advantages. But how will you convince people to buy them?

Here's my idea for a TV commercial that tries to sell cars like that. This one concentrates on decreased braking response time. I thought of this when I saw an article about a combined accelerator-brake pedal being developed by a large car company. It's a simple mechanical device. The pedal acts as an accelerator when you extend your foot (the foot part of the pedal pivots) but it acts as a brake when you extend your knee (the entire pedal assmebly moves forwards). If the brake is activated, the engine automatically goes to idle. The main advantage is that you can activate the brakes a few milliseconds faster.

Here's the TV commercial. 2 drivers, one is a famous race car driver who is not wearing his helmet (close up on the handsome race car driver's face), one has the helmet on and face is unseen (like the Stig in top gear). 2 identical cars one with and one without the new device (both with antilock brakes for some uniformity). You attach a small red light outside and in front of the windshield. The light will be visible near the top of the driver's field of view. Red light is controlled by a radio signal from a third party, maybe in a chase car. Have the 2 cars side by side on a straight track going say 100mph. Suddenly without warning the third party activates the red light. Both drivers now have to stop in the shortest distance possible. Hopefully the new device beats the normal car, maybe by 1-2 car lengths or so. Race car driver gets out and shakes hand of other driver. Other driver takes off helmet ---- it's the race car driver's grandma!!

vmaldia, Aug 01 2006


       shouldn't this be in one of the television ad categories? the ad is for a brake control system, but it's an ad nonetheless.
tcarson, Aug 01 2006

       The brake system itself sounds, to be brutally honest, extremely dangerous at best. The advert has been done before many times in other guises. No pastry here.
wagster, Aug 01 2006

       /Have the 2 cars side by side on a straight track going say 100mph/   

       /The main advantage is that you can activate the brakes a few milliseconds faster/   

       /Hopefully the new device beats the normal car, maybe by 1-2 car lengths or so/   

       It would beat the other car by 4.5cm (1.75 inches) per millisecond saved. I think milliseconds might be a bit pessimistic. Centiseconds, or maybe even deciseconds might be more appropriate, depending on the usefulness of the device.
Texticle, Aug 02 2006

       Auditory response time (I don't know visual, sorry) decays by about 40 milliseconds between you and your grandmother. Training can help offset about 25% of that. The claim that the ad would be making is that the different device compensates for between 30 and 40 milliseconds of response time. That is an unlikely effect to achieve without brain implants.
jutta, Aug 02 2006

       This is similar to how rudder pedals in aircraft work. In a car I'd imagine the time saved is simply due to the fact that you don't have to shift your foot from accelerator to the brake pedal, which could be significantly more than milliseconds.   

       The problem with the idea is that both the pedal system and the commercial are baked.
Laimak, Aug 02 2006

       I don't care about milliseconds of response time - what sounds screwy about the control mechanism described (Grandma related sales pitch or no) is the idea of being stuck in traffic, wiggling my leg about in awkward positions as I start-stop-start-stop in traffic.   

       As a rule I don't like them, but in traffic, I've occasionaly been seriously tempted to switch to an automatic.
zen_tom, Aug 03 2006

       I think the time taken to move your foot from accelerator to brake is significant. Left foot braking can save time, but requires practice.
Ling, Aug 03 2006

       [zen], never fear. E-mats are coming.
RayfordSteele, Aug 03 2006


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