“I’m not noticing anything different!” Contact 6 tests new technology engineered by Johnson Controls

GLENDALE — There's new technology that is revolutionizing the roadways and it's made in southeastern Wisconsin.

StartStop4Johnson Controls is on the forefront of creating start-stop vehicles systems.

The system automatically shuts off a car's engine when the driver stops.

Officials with Johnson Controls say it helps the environment and will save consumers money.

"Start-stop technology reduces fuel consumption and reduces emissions -- and it's a very inexpensive technology that's available today. It's ready to go," explained MaryAnn Wright, the VP of engineering and product development. StartStop6

While start-stop systems have already available for about five years, the company anticipates the system will be in most newly-produced cars by 2020.

FOX6's Contact 6 wanted to know how the system works and if it changed the driving experience. So Katrina Cravy took a car equipped with the new technology for a test drive.

Cravy was joined by Jeff Harris, the program manager of Advanced Power Solutions at Johnson Controls.

The first thing Cravy noticed was that there's no key going into the ignition. She only needed a fob in the car to start the vehicle.

StartsStop2"No need to use a key," Harris said.

Harris guided Cravy through starting the vehicle.

"Have your foot on the brake then press the start-stop button," Harris advised.

The car started up immediately and they hit road.

During the drive, Harris explained how the system works.

"The way that it works is when you stop, you have your foot on the brake and the engine will shut off. As soon as you take your foot off the brake, then the engine will start back up and kick on. So you don't have any lag going. When your foot goes from the brake to the gas, you'll just get the immediate response of the engine like you normally would with the standard vehicle or standard battery," Harris said.

Once Cravy understood how it worked, she wanted to know what it meant for the average driver. StartStop3

"OK, how much is it going to save me as a consumer?" Cravy asked.

"So, over the course of a year, we expect to save around $100. It's about 5% every time you fill up your vehicle," Harris responded.

As the drive continued, Cravy realized starting and stopping didn't feel any different than in any other vehicle.

"I'm not noticing anything different. And that's the whole thing about this, right? As the driver, I shouldn't notice the change at all?" Cravy said.

"The drive experience should be seamless for the driver," Harris explained.

As the drive continued, Cravy wanted to know how Harris felt about the start-stop technology ramping up production.

StartStop5"It's fun to not only see your product start to hit the market and see it realized and working and see consumers happy. But even as an engineer, to tinker and see what you put in design actually go into production is amazing as well," Harris said.

After a few more turns, the ride wrapped up and Harris made sure to drive home how much drivers will really save with this system.

"We expect the average driver is going to see $100 savings annually. So in two years or less, you're going to pay that back," Harris said.

1 Comment

  • marcus wilson

    one thought i have is if your pumping your brakes on ice or drying them after hitting a puddle if that engine shuts down you could be risking your safety. allot of times you need split second timing to avoid possible trouble and if this engine is constantly shutting down i see lawsuits in their future. i will forfeit the savings knowing my avoiding this contraption is trying to save me money

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