What Is Adaptive Cruise Control? Definition, Types, How to Use?


Do you know What is Adaptive Cruise Control? We will learn all about it in this article. Driving in heavy traffic or maintaining a safe distance from the car in front of you requires a high degree of focus. By automatically adjusting vehicle speed and maintaining a specified minimum distance to the vehicle ahead, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) may decrease driver stress.

What is Adaptive Cruise Control? Definition

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is an active safety technology that regulates a vehicle’s acceleration and braking automatically.

If the automobile in front of you slows down, ACC may automatically match it. When the automobile ahead of you moves out of your lane or accelerates beyond your car’s programmed speed, your ACC enables your car to return to its original speed.

what adaptive cruise control definition types how use
What adaptive cruise control definition types how use

In the year 2019, This particular feature was given 20 different names that described the functionality of this mechanism of ACC.

Adaptive cruise control is also known as Dynamic cruise control, autonomous cruise control, active cruise control and radar cruise control

Some of the car manufacturers that offer an ACC system in some of their cars are:

  • Volvo (Volvo V40, S60, XC60, S80)
  • Toyota (Camry, Sedan 2017 plus, Corolla)
  • Tesla (Model X, Y, 3)
  • Skoda (Octiva, Fabia, Superb 2017)
  • Ram (1500, 2500, 3500)
  • Mitsubishi (Outlander 2014)
  • Honda (Accord 2018+, CRV)
  • Dodge (Charger, Challenger)

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How Does Adaptive Cruise Control Function?

Adaptive cruise control ensures a safe and enjoyable driving experience by monitoring other cars and objects on the road. As a result, it helps the driver to maintain a constant vehicle speed at all times.

The driver may choose key aspects such as the distance to the automobile in front of them, the driving mode (economy, sporty, or pleasant, for example), and others.

These options, together with information regarding speed restrictions, road curvature, accident statistics, and other factors, impact the speed that is automatically selected.

Despite having a high production cost, cruise control is now available on more and more car models.

When the technology was first introduced, high production costs meant that it was only found in high-end car models but nowadays these are available in almost every modern mid-range car as well.

Adaptive cruise control has become a standard feature of new vehicles as less quality sensors have reached the market to destroy its goodwill.

ACC is the basis for the automotive intelligence of the future, it works by using sensors included in cars, such as cameras, lasers, and radar equipment. These sensors tell ACC how close the car is to another or any other object on the road.

When the car detects a potential forward collision, the car flashes red lights and makes a dashboard sign of brake now to avoid collision along with an audible warning might also be played.

Also Read: Types of Cars

How Does Adaptive Cruise Control Work? Working Principle?

In those cars which have ACC, laser or radar systems are installed in the front of cars with adaptive cruise control (ACC) constantly monitor the road ahead for other vehicles.

You can turn on the Adaptive Cruise Control & press the SET button to accelerate the speed. A speed adjustment can then be made manually using the plus or minus buttons.

Once the speed limit has been set, you will have the ability to set the gap that you desire to maintain with the car which is ahead of your car using the proper buttons, and depending upon your vehicle, the distance will either be given in seconds or in meters.

When the car in front of you slows down, your car will either slow down to maintain the gap you set, or it will warn you to brake – which will then deactivate the ACC system.

Your vehicle will not follow the vehicle ahead if it shoots ahead suddenly. It will instead follow the speed you set unless another car in front catches up to it.

A radar sensor is often at the heart of the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system. The technology, which is installed at the front of the car, constantly monitors the road ahead. As long as the road ahead is clear, ACC maintains the driver’s pace.

If the system detects a slower vehicle within its detecting range, it slows down gradually by releasing the accelerator or actively activating the brake control system. If the car in front of you accelerates or changes lanes, the ACC will automatically accelerate to the driver’s preferred speed.

Standard ACC is engaged at speeds of roughly 30 km/h (20 mph) and assists the driver, mainly on long-distance trips or on highways. The ACC stop & go mode is also operative at speeds less than 30 km/h which equals to 20 mph.

ACC can maintain the total distance which has been set from beforehand even at very minimum speeds and can even decelerate completely. If the vehicle is equipped with an automatic transmission, and the traffic hold-up is only temporary, ACC stops & goes at a pace that can put the vehicle back into motion. A driver may have to reactivate the ACC system if the vehicle remains stopped for an extended period of time, for example by briefly pressing the gas pedal. As a result, ACC stops & assists the driver even in heavy traffic.

In today’s modern cars, cruise control is integrated into the electronics and is often used with other technologies, such as lane departure warnings and blind-spot sensors.

In order to set the speed for the cruise control, you must first select cruise mode with a switch, accelerate to the desired speed, and press a button on the steering wheel or a lever on the steering column.

With some cars, you can adjust your speed automatically, so you can take your foot off the accelerator. The car’s electronics will remain at your selected speed when you release the accelerator.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) allows you to change the speed of your car by simply switching on the system. The vehicle will accelerate to the speed you choose.

In this type of system, either a radar or laser sensor tracks the distance between the car in front, and it provides the capability of increasing or decreasing that distance as needed.

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Merits of Adaptive Cruise Control

A few major benefits of having and using Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) are an increase in road safety. Cars equipped with this technology will maintain sufficient space between them and other vehicles once the technology has been turned on manually.

The Adaptive Cruise Control feature is also very useful in preventing accidents which are resulted due to some kind of obstructed view or very close following distance.

In addition, ACC’s spatial awareness will aid in maximizing traffic flow. As a driver, you don’t have to worry about how fast you’re driving, so you can focus on what’s around you and there will be lesser chances of accidents or of bumping into any other object.

The Limitations of Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control, despite having so many advantages still has a few limitations which must also be considered.

The system is not completely self-contained, which is one of its major flaws. To get the optimum outcomes, the driver must continue to exercise safe driving practices that will operate in parallel with this technology.

Additionally, poor weather conditions such as snow, rain, or fog, as well as environmental elements like travelling through tunnels, may confuse the system’s sensors and the working of the ACC function might not work.

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Key Differences Between Cruise Control vs Adaptive Cruise Control

General cruise control originated as early as the year 1948, with the invention of speedostat by Ralph Teetor and ever since the technology has kept on improving.

Traditional cruise controls were officially first introduced and became a popular technology in the 1960s.

Traditional cruise control helps drivers to maintain a steady pace while avoiding the need to continually press the accelerator, regardless of the road grade.

The cruise control main is to focus on throttle control with central automation.

The more technologically sophisticated adaptive cruise control continually adjusts to the road ahead of you, allowing you to maintain a safe space with yourself or the automobile in front of you.

As early as the mid-1990s, automakers began introducing adaptive cruise control as a way to overcome the most significant drawback of classic cruise control which is its inability to accurately predict the speed of vehicles ahead.

Automation allowed the cruise control function to control both acceleration and braking. As a result, the cruise control function could operate continuously for a longer period.

In light traffic, this enabled the driver to go longer distances without having to push their foot on the accelerator. They still had to pay attention to the road ahead, since automobiles in front of them may still brake.

The Conventional Cruise Control Function can maintain a persistent speed that can be set by you, On the other hand, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is an upgrade over the traditional conventional cruise control.

Traditional Cruise Control has the ability to maintain the driver’s specified pace, whereas Adaptive Cruise Control maintains a stable speed which is relative to the speed of other cars and vehicles that are ahead of the car

Conventional cruise control doesn’t automatically reduce or increase speed based on how fast and far other vehicles are moving. If you use adaptive cruise control, it may calculate your speed and distance from the car in front of you. As a result, it might slow down or accelerate depending on the speed of the vehicle ahead.

Conventional cruise control utilizes sensors to calculate the throttle position of the car, On the other hand, Adaptive cruise control utilized different radars in order to calculate the distance and speed of the front of your car.

Conventional cruise control is properly-suited for high-speed cruising mainly on highways and Adaptive cruise control is generally more useful in the cities where there is too much traffic and the traffic is very slow-moving.

Conventional cruise control is offered in almost every car except a few basic entry-level cars.

On the other hand, Adaptive cruise control is costly and is found in only high-end and very premium cars only.

When drivers use ACC more frequently while driving, they become increasingly accustomed to it operating continuously for an extended period of time. As a result, there is an increased demand for further enhancements.

The industry is implementing a new standard for ACC known as intelligent cruise control as advancements are made

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Different Types of Adaptive Cruise Control

Systems based on lasers

These types of Adaptive cruise control systems are controlled by a huge black box that is normally mounted in your vehicle’s grille. It detects the closeness of things to your vehicle using laser technology. It does not work well in rainstorms or other adverse weather conditions.

Laser-based systems do not track or detect any cars during harsh weather conditions or on dirty roads and become totally useless which makes it a very huge con for the system.

Laser sensors must be revealed; normally the sensor (a very large black box) is located in the lower grille, angled to one side.

Radar-based systems

Radar-based systems detect your vehicle’s surroundings by putting radar-based sensors on or near plasticfascias. Each radar sensor works in tandem to provide a complete picture of the vehicle’s proximity to other vehicles or potentially dangerous items. Depending on the design and model of the vehicle, this sort of sensor may seem different.

Radar-based sensors are generally hidden behind the plastic cladding, regardless of the claddings, the look might vary from vehicle to vehicle.

Assisting Systems

Assisting systems are radar-based add-ons that consumers may purchase in conjunction with their vehicles. These pre-crash systems may include lane control, braking aid, cruise control, proximity warnings to obstacles such as corners, and steering power.

Single sensor systems

The most frequent kind of radar system is a single radar system. Multiple sensor systems employ either two equivalent hardware sensors, such as the 2010 Audi A8 or even the 2010 Volkswagen Touaregor one centralized long-range radar paired with two short radar sensors placed on the vehicle’s corners, such as the BMW 5 and 6 series.

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Multi-Sensor Systems

To help in the functioning of a vehicle, adaptive cruise control systems may use more than one kind of sensor. Multi-sensor systems combine multiple distinct sensor types to deliver sophisticated information to the driver.

These sensors may also include GPS data technology or cameras that gather information about a car’s geographical surroundings and closeness to other vehicles.

Predictive Systems

Prediction systems are a sort of ACC that utilizes sensory data to anticipate the behaviours of other cars in the vicinity. This implies that your vehicle may slow down to prepare for another vehicle abruptly changing lanes, promoting passenger safety.

Binocular Computer Vision Optical Systems

This system is one of the most recent kinds of ACC systems developed during these recent years and was first put to use in a car in 2013 by a company named Subaru.

Binocular Computer Vision Optical Systems uses computer processing to extract depth information from the parallax between the images of the two front-facing video cameras installed on each side of the rear view mirror.

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System Benefits of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

The system benefits of Adaptive Cruise Control are listed below:

System benefits for drivers

  • Even in a lot of heavy traffic and bigger traffic jams, the driver will get a more relaxed and comfortable driving experience.
  • It helps in supporting the driver in maintaining a safe distance of the car from any other vehicle or obstacle which may appear near the car.
  • The function allows for a smooth, fuel-efficient flow of traffic on the highways.
  • It Reduces the possibility of rear-end crashes
  • If the driver uses Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) function then he can shift his or her concentration to other things such as the current traffic situation.

System benefits for manufacturers

  • Implementing the Adaptive Cruise Control feature helps in decreasing the fuel consumption by up to a level of 10 per cent.
  • Reduces rear-end crashes and makes driving a car easier.
  • If there is any type of malfunction in the Adaptive Cruise Control System there are a lot of universally followed methods in order to fix the issues and the fixes will not vary based upon one particular brand or model of a car.

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Use Case Scenarios that are Supported by Modern Adaptive Control?

Stop and Go Cruise control

Even driving bumper to bumper at low speeds can result in both discomfort for drivers and an increased risk of accidents. Traffic jam is a serious issuethroughout the globe & every city is faced with the challenge of optimising its traffic networks.

Adaptive cruise control on motorways works similarly to stop & go cruise control in slow traffic but stops or accelerates the vehicle automatically when the driver commands it.

Cruise control that is aware of speed limits

In situations in which the driver may need to adjust the ACC by hand, such as when passing a speed limit sign, intelligent cruise control, which uses the input from the traffic sign recognition system, will automatically adjust the set speed.

We accomplish this by combining camera and map data to produce accurate information about speed limits.

Cruise Control in Curves

When facing bends or turns, the driver usually needs to revise the cruise control speed set by adaptive cruise control, especially on country roads and junctions, but also when driving on motorways.

By taking into account a vehicle’s specific dynamics as well as curvature data from the Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) map, intelligent cruise control can help eliminate the need for human intervention while calculating the optimal speed for a given road segment.

As an added feature, the system also offers plenty of customization and can cater to drivers with sporty driving styles and show them the vehicle’s dynamic driving abilities.

Cruise control with turn-by-turn navigation

Recent advances in intelligent cruise control technology have enabled vehicles to accelerate and brake automatically at highway exits, entrances, junctions, and roundabouts.

The system continues to work even when the driver increases the vehicle speed by braking. As soon as the pedal is released, the system adjusts the vehicle speed to account for the next road feature the system detects.

For instance, a drivable profile through a roundabout depends on map data, as it relies on insights based on traffic signs stop, yield, traffic lights and information on the curvature at junctions.

Parking speed regulation

As with any car journey, the first and last steps involve controlling the speed when moving into a parking space or driveway. It is imperative to use extra sensors and to operate at very low speeds in order to facilitate such maneuvers.

Some of the ACCs that are currently in development address both self-parking and maneuvering through large lots.

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Forecasting adaptive cruise control anticipates potential road hazards

Cruise control systems with intelligent cruise control use a vehicle’s connectivity to enable early warnings and to automatically adjust speed during adverse conditions such as road accidents, broken vehicles on the road, or severe weather conditions such as icy roads.

Dynamic priority cruise control is a revolutionary innovation

A modern adaptive cruise control system has the capability to notice and automatically handle changing traffic lights and other vehicles at a junction. The application of intelligent driving strategies makes it possible to prioritize tasks and recognize rapidly changing situations with high confidence. In any case, the driver can observe vehicle actions and intervene when necessary.

Does the use of adaptive cruise control help in saving money?

Adaptive Cruise Control can help you in saving some money depending on the type of car that you drive.

When you drive at a consistent pace, your vehicle will use less fuel, so you won’t have to stop at the gas station as often, regardless of whether you drive a gasoline, diesel, or hybrid vehicle.

By setting the car to a certain speed, you could stay safely inside the speed limit and reduce your chances of receiving fines or penalty points.

Will it be a smart decision to buy a car with Adaptive Cruise Control?

If you or any other buyer is someone who loves to have all the latest technologies then an Adaptive Cruise Control system car is something you should definitely go for.

Likewise, if you or any buyer spends a lot of time travelling in a car, throughout the city, on busy motorways, or in a city with a lot of population and traffic then ACC can be of a lot of assistance by safely and properly navigating in those kinds of situations.

It’s worth considering how often you would actually use the system if you had it because models that come with ACC are more expensive, which means an extra grand or two on the price of a new car.

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Costing of Adaptive Cruise Control System Cost

The cost of an adaptive cruise control system varies depending on the amount It depends on how many features you want. If you want a full-featured ACC, you should be willing to spend anywhere between $2000 and $2500.

For those seeking a cruise control that would benefit speeds of up to 20-25 miles per hour, these more basic ACCs can be found for as little as $500. In the future, as ACCs become more common, they will most likely reduce in price.

Norms and Regulations for ACC

Adaptive cruise control is regulated under the European norm under ISO 15622 Intelligent transport systems which are Adaptive Control Systems, Performance requirements and test procedures.

The ACC standard defines ACCs as partial automation of longitudinal vehicle control that may reduce the workload of the driver while on roadways where pedestrians and non-motorized vehicles are prohibited. It does not address stationary objects.

In accordance with this standard, there are two categories of systems: the FSRA (full speed range) and the LSRA (limited speed range).

Can you add adaptive cruise control to your car if the car does not have the system inbuilt?

If you want to add the ACC feature to an older car that does not have the feature built-in, then fortunately it is possible to add adaptive cruise control (ACC) to that particular car that you desire.

When installing ACC to your vehicle, there are two major considerations to bear in mind:

  • The cost of installation depends on the type of car in which you want to install the ACC system.
  • The ability to install ACC on your car depends on whether the car was designed to support it or if you would have to install all of the additional components needed.

If the model of your car already has the components for installing ACC, it will be significantly cheaper to install it than if it does not.

A complete ACC system costs from $2000 to $2500, excluding any additional components or labour costs.

It is estimated that labour rates range between $47- $215 per hour for adaptive cruise control installation. Because this requires specialized knowledge, you can anticipate higher labour costs.

Some models require the use of a unique kit designed specifically for that vehicle.

This can have an impact on the cost of the components and labour.

It is significantly less expensive to install adaptive cruise control on a vehicle that already has it as an option than it is to undertake the work on one that does not.

ACC is an important feature of your vehicle. You shouldn’t let its cost stand in the way of your safety.

Is it Simple to Change From Regular Cruise Control to Adaptive Cruise Control?

Adaptive cruise control systems come in a variety of configurations.

The first is a tiny radar device that is situated directly behind the front grille or in front of the bumper. A laser system is used in some systems.

Other methods employ a stereoscopic camera setup. The system you select will determine how to switch from regular cruise control to ACC.

Some versions come with installation kits that you may follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install.

Each refit work is unique and requires a certain amount of customization. Some changes require the installation of a specific bracket beneath the bumper.

When you are installing a kit on a vehicle that already has it as an option, it is usually possible to do it with minimal mechanical knowledge and experience as long as you follow the instructions.

There are times when predrilled holes are available for use, so all you have to do is connect the wire harness to the system.

For a car that was manufactured previously when the option was available, installation and adjustment may require some mechanical expertise.

It may be necessary to use specialized tools or professional welding and bodywork expertise. In such a case, investing in a professional may prove worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use adaptive cruise control on a manual shift car?

Having cruise control on a manual automobile is possible, but gear changes must be manually controlled when the vehicle slows or accelerates.

What is the location to toggle the adaptive cruise control button in my car?

In most cars, the cruise control button is located on the steering wheel for ease of use. The placement of the button, however, may differ depending on the brand and model.

Is it Possible to Install Adaptive Cruise Control on a Jeep?

Jeep was one of the first automakers to integrate ACC into its cars, beginning with Grand Cherokees in 2012. It was then added to Cherokee Limited, TrailHawk, and the Wrangler in 2014. In 2018, it was added to Cherokee Limited.
The feature was added to the Wrangler in 2018, which requires that all previous models be updated.

Is it possible to install Adaptive Cruise Control on a BMW?

BMW is a premium car manufacturing company. Adaptive cruise control was introduced to BMW 3 and 5 series models in 2007.
In 2009, it was added to the 7 series, in 2011, to the X5, and in 2014, it was included in the exempt Diesel.
This feature was also added to BMW’s i3 and X3 models of 2014. It’s easy to install because many popular BMW models had ACC already.

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