BMW’s electronic throttle butterfly control.
Toyota’s recent problems with sudden unintended acceleration have caused a lot of controversy in the automotive world and everyone is doing a root cause analysis. New York Times reached out to BMW North America for a demonstration on how the electronic brake override system works in a BMW.
Here is an excerpt and a video from the NYT article:
“I was on an access road at the BMW headquarters in a 2009 BMW 335i Coupe with Thomas Plucinsky, a BMW spokesman, at the wheel. I wanted to experience brake override myself. Mr. Plucinsky wound the car up to 60 miles per hour and, with his right foot still delivering full throttle, hit the brake pedal hard, triggering a full anti-lock brake stop.
We left strips of rubber on the road and stopped in something less than 150 feet, with a lot of noise but not much other drama. As my stomach became steadily queasier, we tried it twice more with the same results — the car came to a quick halt. Mr. Plucinsky also demonstrated that the brake override would not be triggered by a “racing start” with a full throttle held back by firm braking. Asked how the system distinguishes between intended driver technique and an emergency situation, he said, “Now you’re getting into proprietary areas.”