According to a Consumer Reports survey, almost  85 % of the drivers who were using  Adaptive Cruise Control (or ACC) on their vehicles were very happy with it. Not only this, nineteen percent of them said that it was with the help of ACC that they avoided a crash. 

Standard cruise control has been in the automobile industry since the mid-20th century while Adaptive cruise control was introduced in the late 20th century, around the 1990s. In the year 1999, the automobile company Mercedes launched its first Adaptive control vehicle in the United States.

Now, two decades have passed and these companies are still experimenting to modify their cruise control offerings for more related experience to us. Hence, we can see that Adaptive Cruise Control technology has evolved as one of the building blocks of self-reliant driving.

So, In this article, we will see what ACC is, How adaptive cruise control works, & other features.

What Adaptive Cruise Control is?

Adaptive cruise control (or ACC) is a modern technology in the ADAS. ADAS stands for advanced driver assistance system. The system helps the driver many times. For example, it automatically adjusts the speed of a vehicle when there are slow-moving automobiles ahead, to maintain a safe distance between the vehicle ahead & itself.

On the other hand, When the path is clear ahead, this Adaptive cruise control automatically speeds up to a speed that you have set earlier. The ACC is in best use on highways, when there is huge traffic, where sometimes you need to slow down, & sometimes speed up a little.

The Adaptive Cruise Control is an important block and precursor of exclusively autonomous vehicles. According to  SAE, the level one driver supports features of Driving Automation to provide steering or brake/acceleration to the driver, on the other hand, to jump to Level 2 requires both steering & brake/acceleration to the driver.

As a basis of autonomous driving, adaptive cruise control has the potential to lower the stress of the driver & radically improve the safety of both the vehicle & the driver. . According to a  study from the Highway Loss Data Institute, which studied the data from 2013-2017 of insurance claims of  BMW vehicles to see how the Advanced Driver assistance system affected collision or damage& injury rates. 

The driving assistance package of BMW added Adaptive cruise control to the following ADAS: Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Front Automatic Emergency Braking, etc. With the ACC addition, this system has lowered the rates of property damage, and collision almost by 27 %. Besides this, the bodily injury claim rates were reduced by 37 percent.

How does the ACC  work?

Just as with standard cruise control you need to set your speed, the Adaptive Cruise Control system instructs drivers to set their preferred speed. Then, you need to set the preferred following distance between you & the vehicle ahead from the given pre-set options. Many of them have close & medium and far options.

The adaptive Cruise control uses sensors to show the speed of your car, the distance from other vehicles around you, and also it tells you the speed of vehicles ahead of you. There are so many types of ACC technology. The sensors that have been used for ACC are:

  • Radar
  • Camera
  • Laser

The most updated forms of this Advanced Driving Assistance System use radar, to gather the above-mentioned information, such as the speed of the car ahead, or the distance, etc. The radar is mounted in the front of the car & is used to analyze the road before you. This is done with the radar emitting radio waves & then measuring how long these waves are taking to return to the sensor.

Then, with this information, the radar performs the internal calculation to give you the information. The  Data from the distance sensors of radar and the speed sensors of vehicles are utilized to regulate the speed of your car and keep it at a preset distance from the vehicle ahead of you.

  • ACC Versions and Commonly Bundled ADAS

Almost every automobile company has its own updated version of ACC. However, not all of them use the same names for their “Adaptive cruise control ” system. So, here we have listed a few industry terms by which ACC is popularly known:

  • The Dynamic cruise control
  • Radar cruise control
  • Intelligent cruise control
  • Radar adaptive cruise control
  • Autonomous cruise control
  • Dynamic laser cruise control
  • Dynamic radar cruise control
  • Adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go

Not just the names are similar, but also there are numerous different features that the ACC system often comes up with to perform sensor fusion. One such example of this is this feature known as ACC with Stop & Go. It adds the capability to get a complete stop & then restart to the preset speed of the car as traffic moves.

The data stored in these times are used to keep a safe distance & avoid encounters that may cause you trouble.

  • ACC + Lane Centering

Adaptive Cruise Control works well with other features as well. As we mentioned earlier,  when ACC is combined with an Advanced Driver Assistance System with the steering capabilities, the car is considered at Level 2 on the SAE  driving scale.

In other words, it means that the car can accelerate or decelerate or steer on its own, under very specific conditions. These specified conditions include initial speed & weather etc

Calibration of ACC Sensor

Adaptive cruise control Or ACC  is one of the most popular Advanced Driving Assistance systems in the vehicle industry today. Just like with other ADAS systems, ACC needs to have sensors recalibrated after a collision as well and a few other vehicle assistance. To get an automobile calibrated, drivers must know about it & see the warning signs.

Final Word

We hope that by now you are aware of what an advanced driver assistance system is and how it works. If you have been in an accident recently, it is advised to get your ADAS recalibrated at the earliest.