Adaptive Cruise Control – Making Cars Smarter
Cars with Adaptive Cruise Control systems are safer and smarter because they not only take the strain out of your driving but also reduce the risk of accidents. Let’s first talk about what exactly Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is. The cruise control automatically adjusts the speed of your car according to the speed of the vehicle ahead of you. If the vehicle ahead is taking up speed or slowing down, the ACC sensors would automatically adjust the speed of your car to maintain a safe distance between the two.
With the fast advancement in technology, it won’t be long before fully autonomous cars come to the market. Although, ACC is a key element of luxury cars, the manufacturers are moving towards installing this system in less glamorous and economical cars so that motorists can benefit from this incredible invention and road trips can be made safer.
How is Adaptive Cruise Control Making Cars Smarter?
While driving, the driver sets the maximum speed and activates the ACC. On activation, the ACC takes control of the speed of the car without any feedback from the driver. The driver does not even need to push the accelerator pedal which makes the ACC really smart. The ACC is an advanced version of the cruise control, thus also enables you to maintain a safe distance from the vehicles ahead.
Where does ACC get the information to do its job, if not the driver? This intelligent system makes use of laser or radar sensors installed in your car to keep an eye on the traffic. The sensors, after analyzing the speed of the vehicle ahead, instruct the car to keep a safe distance from it. Not only this, the system can also sense the presence of an obstruction on the road and alert the driver about it. Moreover, the Autonomous Cruise Control is often paired with a pre-crash system that alerts the driver and even activates the brakes itself. It can also cut the throttle and downshift if need be.
More importantly, cars with an ACC system consume less fuel because the speed of the vehicle is maintained efficiently. You do not have to speed up and slow down; the system does it for you.
Adaptive Cruise Control – The Future
The famous 1999 Mercedes S-Class was the first car to feature the radar controlled ACC. There have been many changes and improvements in the system since then. Adaptive Cruise Control now boasts an Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and other autonomous functions. A new advancement in the ACC systems includes the use of GPS Where cars would soon be able to communicate with other cars through the radio signals.
How Safe is Adaptive Cruise Control?
The fact that Adaptive Cruise Control maintains the speed of the car with respect to the vehicle ahead, severe collisions can be avoided on the road. However, there is a widely spread misconception about how safe the ACC can be. Not many people are aware that the partial ACC systems are not capable to put a car to a complete halt. Furthermore, if you are driving on a zigzag or twisty road, the ACC would not work as it should, because the sensors would also sense the speeds of the vehicles in the lanes next to your car. Provided that you are as much knowledgeable about the limitations as you are about its capabilities, the ACC is indeed a blessing.