At first glance, adaptive cruise control works like conventional cruise control. You set the speed you want to drive at, and the car will keep itself at this speed until you over-ride it. However, adaptive cruise control is designed to monitor the speed of a vehicle in front. If the vehicle in front slows down, then the adaptive cruise control will slow your car down to prevent you rear-ending the car in front. Once the other car accelerates (or turns off or is overtaken), the adaptive cruise control ystem will bring your car back to the preset speed as before.
Adaptive cruise control makes use of a radar system mounted behind the grille of the car. This radar is set to detect the speed of the car in front, and the distance between the two cars. Some of the latest adaptive cruse control systems also have a warning system that alerts the driver that a crash is likely, allowing him/her to take action.
The US patent for adaptive cruise control was granted in 1996, and the first passenger cars to be fitted with a factory adaptive cruise control system were the Mercedes S-class lineup.We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is Adaptive Cruise Control?’!
Back to Car Glossary