ORLANDO, FL – A new study from Lux Research predicts the expansion of start-stop engine technology to more than 8 million new vehicles in North America over the next five years as automakers work to meet fuel-economy standards, AAA reported.

According to AAA, early versions of this technology, which automatically shuts off a vehicle’s engine when the driver is stopped (idling), appeared in the 1980s. Today, this technology is capable of improving fuel economy by up to 12%, AAA stated.

“Engine stop-start isn’t a brand new technology, but the latest systems benefit from significant advances made in the last few years,” said John Nielsen, AAA’s Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “This technology is only going to gain momentum as vehicle manufactures work to meet the more stringent Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards set for 2016.”

The technology works differently depending on the type of transmission in a vehicle. Start-stop in a vehicle with an automatic transmission shuts downs the engine when the driver stops the vehicle for several seconds by applying the brake pedal. With a manual transmission, the engine shuts down when the transmission is in neutral and the driver has released the clutch. Once the driver releases the brake pedal or depresses the clutch pedal, the engine restarts automatically.