Automatic Cruise Control

Technology is changing faster than ever these days, and that holds true for automobiles as well. Something that is becoming a more and more common feature on cars is automatic cruise control (ACC), also known as adaptive cruise control, active cruise control, cooperative adaptive cruise control, intelligent cruise control, or radar cruise control. This feature will automatically speed up or slow down your car to keep a set following distance from the car in front of you. It may also provide some braking, depending on the system.

How to Use it

1. Set speed – Set your desired speed.

2. Set gap – Set your desired following distance, or the gap. ACC will automatically adjust the gap based on the car’s speed ahead of you. You can choose distances such as short, medium, or long, all depending on how many feet or seconds you wish to stay a part from the car in front of you.

3. Stay focused – As always, be constantly aware of the changing traffic around you.

How it Works

What it does – Automatic cruise control will increase or decrease your car’s speed to maintain a following distance that you set. There are advanced systems that will even slow and stop your car while following in traffic jams, and then speed up.

The Technology – Radar and computer-connected sensors read the road ahead of you for the traffic. They are capable of reading and responding to any traffic that is ahead of you in your lane.

Tips for Using

  • ACC may not work well in all weather conditions. Heavy fog, rain, or snow can cause the sensors to not be as accurate. The system may also not work in tunnels.
  • Because ACC allows you to not spend as much time focusing on the following distance, use this opportunity to spend more time looking at the traffic around you, watching for cars ahead of you and in adjacent lanes.
  • Check your owner’s manual to see if your ACC system will completely brake your car for you, or if you need to stop it on your own.
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