The Deaccelerator

Richard Schulman's solution to the problem of speeding: make it harder for motorists to step on the gas pedal. From the Chicago Tribune (Nov 20, 1986):

The device attaches to the gas pedal of cars and trucks and is set for a maxiumum speed. Once you reach that speed, the accelerator becomes harder to push down. So if, for instance, your Deaccelerator is set at 55 miles per hour, your gas pedal operates normally until your car reaches that speed. To go faster, you must exert more pressure with your foot.

Schulman invented it in the mid-1980s, and even started a company, the Deaccelerator Corporation, to market it. As of 2005, he was still publishing about it, but evidently the idea met with resistance (pun intended) since I'm not aware of any cars equipped with the device. The people who need it most would be exactly the ones who would refuse to buy a car that had one.

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 06, 2019
     Category: Inventions | 1980s | Cars

Why buy a Deaccelerator when you can buy a Twingo and have the car shake more and more the faster you go?
Posted by Yudith on 01/06/19 at 06:45 AM
Right, Yudith -- or the Adobe, the little car from Mexico made of clay (as advertised on SNL). Another safety benefit is that you can't drive the Adobe in the rain, or it dissolves.
Posted by Virtual on 01/06/19 at 07:28 AM
My car (Volvo) has that in a way. It´s a part of the Cruise Control, you can set a maximum speed it won´t go over.
Posted by F.U.D. on 01/06/19 at 08:02 AM
I'm reminded of the thinking behind standard equipment 85 mph maximum marked speedometers on vehicles in the States during the 1980's - a driver won't exceed the 55 mph speed limit with such a speedometer.

Kind of stupid to fit them in a Camaro or Corvette, which were easily capable of over 100 mph. I recently acquired a 1981 motorcycle with one of them - it's a large sport bike capable of exceeding 120 and the speedometer is broken. I wonder why...
Posted by KDP on 01/06/19 at 05:04 PM
I don't think this is that bad an idea, but I can see some problems with implementing it in the real world.
Posted by Richard Bos on 01/12/19 at 05:58 AM
I could see how this could be dangerous in some situations where you have to accelerate quickly (for instance, if you need to pass another vehicle quickly). You would need a mechanism to deactivate the function quickly... which of course would defeat its very purpose.
Posted by Brian on 02/05/19 at 01:04 PM
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