Global environmental challenges
Traffic jams could start to get quieter in 2012 when Ford begins to install its Auto Start-Stop technology on gasoline-powered cars sold in North America.
The technology, currently used on hybrid Ford vehicles, cuts off the engine when a car is stopped at a traffic light and switches it back on when the driver’s foot leaves the brake pedal.
Ford says Auto Start-Stop will improve fuel economy of conventional cars between four and 10 percent. And engine shutoffs will result in a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. (In car-congested metropolises like Los Angeles and Houston, one could also expect to see a reduction in air pollution if the technology was widely adopted.)
Improvements in internal combustion engine technology allow cars to re-start instantly, according to the vice president of power train engineering at Ford, Barb Samardzich.