Brake Override Technology, at its core, is really simple. With accelerator and brakes both applied at the same time, the brakes win. Safety trumps performance.
Think about the instance of having your cruise control system set at a given speed. Touch the brake pedal, and the cruise control is de-activated. Brake override is a variation on that theme. While cruise control is an intentional application of the accelerator, what if something accidentally caused acceleration. Without this technology, throw in a panicked driver, and you have a different outcome.
Nissan introduced this technology back in 2002, and included it on all Nissan models in 2005. According to one article, the BMW 750 was the first vehicle to use this brake system in the 1980’s. Nissan was the first Japanese manufacturer to use the technology.
How does the system work? Throttles today are computer controlled, with a computer between your right foot and the throttle body. It’s not like the old days when a cable directly connected the gas pedal with the throttle. The brake pedal sends a signal to that same computer. When the computer sees signals from both pedals at the same time it performs calculations to see if you really mean to perform this operation. Sometimes, performance driving will call for brief application of brakes and accelerator simultaneously, which the system will recognize and let you have your fun. But if the system senses anything more sinister, you’ll be slowing down quickly.
Here’s a video put up by Nissan to explain the system operation: