GM Patents New Idea to Maybe Make Start/Stop Suck Less

GM understands that start/stop isn’t always the most popular feature on a vehicle, so they’ve patented a new method of operation that they’re hoping will be a little less frustrating to drivers.

If you’ve driven just about any new vehicle in the last few years, you’ve probably experienced the engine shut off at a stop sign or in traffic that goes with stop/start. Because once the car is up to temp, it uses less fuel to turn it off and back on than to sit there idling. But you’ve also probably been annoyed by the feature, with the exception of some hybrids and 48V micro hybrids. It’s a big sore spot for drivers.

This new patent, reported on by Car and Driver, is a solution to some of those complaints.

No, it’s not a button to turn it off. Instead, it’s more technology. Location detection devices and cameras that analyze the car’s surroundings to see if the system should stop or stay started. Basically, the car detects that you’re, say, in a parking lot. Or in a traffic jam. Then, maybe using the stop/start feature is going to be more annoying than saving. So it won’t turn on. It would also have machine learning, so it could, say, learn that one particular stop is actually a yield sign, so it should keep the engine running. Learning your drive like the new C8 Corvette’s nose-lift system.

Start/stop is a great tech, that can help save some fuel, but using it is a pain. This smarter system could alleviate some of that pain. At the expense of adding way more tech to the car.

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