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Adaptive Cruise Control how does it work?

Following Google's announcement and our blog post yesterday about Google's plan to expand their self driving cars technology we thought we'd add a post about another relatively recent automated driving development - "adaptive cruise control" or ACC for short.

Volkswagen has been one of the leading car manufacturers to add adaptive cruise control as an option for many of its models.

Adaptive cruise control uses radar controlled front assist traffic monitoring systems to monitor the distance from the car or vehicle in front.

The older technology of ordinary cruise control simply keeps the car or vehicle at a steady speed.

However adaptive cruise control as it monitors the distance to the vehicle in front and reduces or increases the speed of your vehicle to maintain a steady distance from the car in front to help avoid collisions.

For drivers who regularly undertake long journeys adaptive cruise control can make those journeys more comfortable avoiding that right leg ache you can get maintaining the accelerator pedal in a fairly steady position.

How does adaptive cruise control work?

The ACC radar in Volkswagen's at least has a range of up to 200 metres and the angle of the radar beam is 12 degrees.

The radar sensor is located in the front of the car and calculates the distance to the vehicle in front and your cars relative speed to it. The ACC system also calculates the location of your car on multilane roads.

Adaptive cruise control does not however mean that a driver does not need to be fully aware of what's going on around him or her.

However many ACC systems do not detect crash barriers or stationary vehicles or objects in front, so if there is a queue of stationary cars in front the driver still needs to be alert and break manually when needed. It is not quite yet fully automated driving more driving assistance.

However adaptive cruise control is no doubt safer than non-adaptive cruise control.

It isn't likely to be that long before adaptive cruise control combines with other technologies to monitor stationary objects and vehicles or pedestrians to assist the driver even further.

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