What is Adaptive Cruise Control?

Interior image of person holding steerling wheel whilst driving car using adaptive cruise control on open road

What is it?

Adaptive Cruise Control is an ingenious invention which transforms cruise control from a common (but rarely used) car feature to a modern and safe addition to your shopping list which may well transform motorway driving. 

In short, adaptive cruise control is an intelligent version of cruise control which sets your speed like conventional cruise control, but adapts that speed to the traffic conditions around you, speeding up and slowing down where necessary. 

How Does It Work?

There a number of different ways the system can work, but typically this is via a millimetre-wave radar sensor mounted in the car's front grille. It is that ingenious device that sends out a constant signal to measure the distance between it and the vehicle in front.

When the driver switches on the Adaptive Cruise Control, a choice of three distances can also be selected and viewed in the small digital information display. When the car in front breaches the distance restrictions you have selected, the car slowly and safely matches your speed to the car in front, maintaining a safe distance.

Should the car in front speed up, or you get in position to effect an overtake, as you pull out to pass, the radar will sense that there is nothing ahead and, without driver intervention, the car will rebuild speed to the original setting. At no time does the driver need to manually adjust the speed, as the safe distance will be maintained regardless. Note - the system is not designed to replace the driver and due care and attention should be maintained at all times

What Are The Benefits?

Cruise control still works as well as it did when introduced in the 60's but it's only effective on open, quiet stretches of motorway. With Adaptive Cruise Control, you can still get the advantage on busier roads with lots of traffic. 

ACC can also help you maintain a more steady, consistent speed which helps boost your fuel economy and means you'll boost your MPG figures over the motorway miles. Not only that, but having the same benefits as standard cruise control, including speed limiter function means you'll be less likely to be pinged by those average speed cameras.


See It In Action


Luscombe Summary

The team at Luscombe's find Adaptive Cruise Control an absolute must for anyone doing motorway miles. On long journeys, it can make the journey much more pleasant, allowing your legs a rest, safe in the knowledge the car will maintain a safe distance ahead. 

Once restricted to the high end German cars, Adaptive Cruise is now available on new cars in the Suzuki, MG and Mitsubishi range and is a feature that would be very high on our shopping list.