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What is Adaptive Cruise Control?

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Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is similar to standard cruise control in that, when engaged, it maintains the speed set by the driver. However, unlike basic cruise control, ACC automatically adjusts the vehicle’s speed based on traffic conditions.

For example, if the car in front of you slows down, the system will automatically brake to slow down and maintain a safe distance from the car in front. If the car in front accelerates, the system will resume your set speed.

Though it’s not federally required, most new cars come equipped with ACC technology.

🤓Geek Tips

ACC is an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). ADAS uses in-car technology features to make you safer while driving. Other ADAS technologies include anti-lock braking, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning. Some newer vehicles use some ADAS technologies in combination, but that’s not always the case.

How does adaptive cruise control work?

ACC systems use cameras, sensors, radar technology, or a combination of all three to monitor the distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you. The technology automatically accelerates or slows down your car based on your settings and speed limits.

You can set your speed and following distance, or how much space you want between your car and the car in front of you. These are usually set with controls on the steering wheel. The ACC system automatically keeps your car at the pre-set speed and distance, unless the traffic ahead slows down or brakes. You can reset your speed and distance at any time while driving.

What you need to know about adaptive cruise control

Adaptive cruise control systems are also known as active cruise control, dynamic cruise control, radar cruise control, intelligent cruise control, etc. And like the name, the exact functionality of the system will vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle.

For example, most ACC systems can bring the car to a complete stop if surrounding traffic is stopped and then accelerate once traffic resumes, but other systems may not have this feature or may not work below a certain speed.

Some ACC systems can predict curves and adjust your vehicle’s speed as you approach a curve, but some ACC systems may not be able to predict traffic conditions on curved roads as well as they can on straight roads, and may not be able to adjust your vehicle’s speed accordingly.

As with similar advanced safety features that use cameras and sensors, ACC’s functionality can be affected by weather conditions such as rain or snow, so drivers should remain alert even when the system is active.

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