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Schematic of Intelligent Cruise Control. The red car automatically maintains a safe distance from the blue car.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is an available cruise control system for road vehicles that automatically adjusts the vehicle speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead. As of 2019, it also called by 20 unique names that describe that basic functionality. This is also known as Dynamic cruise control. [1]

External video
Adaptive cruise control by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety example video.

Control is based on sensor information from on-board sensors. Such systems may use a radar or laser sensor or a camera setup allowing the vehicle to brake when it detects the car is approaching another vehicle ahead, then accelerate when traffic allows it to.

ACC technology is widely regarded as a key component of any future generations of intelligent cars. They impact driver safety and convenience as well as increasing capacity of roads by maintaining optimal separation between vehicles and reducing driver errors. Vehicles with autonomous cruise control are considered a Level 1 autonomous car, as defined by SAE International.[2] When combined with another driver assist feature such lane centering then the vehicle is considered a Level 2 autonomous car.

Adaptive cruise control does not provide full autonomy: the system only provides some help to the driver, but does not drive the car by itself.[3]

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
"Distronic Plus" display on Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W221)
 
ACC radar antenna
  • 1992: Mitsubishi was the first to offer a lidar-based distance detection system on the Japanese market called Debonair. Marketed as "distance warning", this system warns the driver, without influencing throttle, brakes, or gearshifting.[4][5]
  • 1995: Mitsubishi Diamante introduced laser "Preview Distance Control". This system controlled speed through throttle control and downshifting, not by applying the brakes.[4][6]
  • 1997: Toyota offered a "laser adaptive cruise control" (lidar) system on the Japanese market Celsior.[7] It controlled speed through throttle control and downshifting, not by applying the brakes.
  • 1999: Mercedes introduced "Distronic", the first radar-assisted ACC[citation needed], on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220)[8][9] and the CL-Class.[10]
  • 1999: Jaguar began offering a radar-based ACC system on the Jaguar XK (X100).[11]
  • 1999: Nissan introduced laser ACC on the Japanese market Nissan Cima.[12]
  • 1999: Subaru introduced world's first camera-based ACC on the Japanese-market Subaru Legacy Lancaster.[13]
  • 2000: BMW introduced radar "Active Cruise Control" in Europe on the BMW 7 Series - E38.[14]
  • 2000: Toyota was the first to bring laser ACC to the US market in late 2000, with the LS 430 Dynamic Laser Cruise Control system.[15]
  • 2000: Toyota's laser ACC system added "brake control", that also applies brakes.[7]
  • 2001: Infiniti introduced laser "Intelligent Cruise Control" on the 2002 Infiniti Q45 Third generation F50 and 2002 Infiniti QX4.
  • 2001: Renault introduced ACC on the Renault Vel Satis[16] (supplied by Bosch[17])
  • 2002: Lancia introduced radar ACC (by Bosch) on the Lancia Thesis[18]
  • 2002: Volkswagen introduced radar ACC, manufactured by Autocruise (now TRW), on the Volkswagen Phaeton.
  • 2002: Audi introduced radar ACC (Autocruise) on the Audi A8 in late 2002
  • 2003: Cadillac introduced radar ACC on the Cadillac XLR.[19]
  • 2003: Toyota shifted from laser to radar ACC on the Celsior.[7] The first Lexus Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and a radar-guided pre-collision system appeared on the Lexus LS(XF30) US market facelift.[20]
  • 2004: Toyota added "low-speed tracking mode" to the radar ACC on the Crown Majesta.[7] The low-speed speed tracking mode was a second mode that would warn the driver and provide braking if the car ahead stopped; it could stop the car, but would then deactivate.[21]
  • 2005: In the United States, Acura introduced radar ACC integrated with a Collision avoidance system (Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)) in the model year 2006 Acura RL.[22]
  • 2005: Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W221) upgraded ACC to completely halt the car if necessary (now called "Distronic Plus" on E-Class and most Mercedes sedans.
  • 2006: Volkswagen Passat B6 introduced radar ACC supplied by Autocruise and TRW, functioning from 30 to 210 km/h. It supported additional function AWV1 and AWV2 to prevent collision, by using the brake system.
  • 2006: Audi introduced full speed range ACC plus on the Audi Q7. In low-speed mode, it warns the driver of a potential collision and prepares emergency braking as needed.[23] The system was supplied by Bosch.
  • 2006: Nissan introduced "Intelligent Cruise Control with Distance Control Assist" on Nissan Fuga.[24] It pushes the gas pedal against the foot when the navigation system observes an unsafe speed. If the Autonomous cruise control system is used, the Distance Control Assistance reduced speed automatically, and warned the driver that with an audible bell sound.
  • 2006: September 2006 Toyota introduced its "all-speed tracking function" for the Lexus LS 460.[7] The radar-assisted system maintained continuous control from speeds from 0 km/h to 100 km/h and is designed to work under stop/go situations such as highway traffic congestion.[25]
  • 2007: BMW introduced full-speed Active Cruise Control Stop-and-Go on the BMW 5 Series (E60).[26]
  • 2008: Lincoln introduced radar ACC on the 2009 Lincoln MKS.
  • 2008: SsangYong Motor Company introduced radar "Active Cruise Control" on the SsangYong Chairman[27]
  • 2008: Volkswagen Passat CC, B6 and Touareg GP. The ACC system updated to support a full auto stop and added Front Assist function to prevent collision working separately of ACC. Front Assist cannot brake automatically, it only increases the pressure in the brake system and warns the driver.
  • 2008: Volkswagen Golf 6 introduced ACC with lidar.
  • 2009: Hyundai introduced radar ACC on Hyundai Equus in Korean market.
  • 2009: ACC and CMBS also became available as optional features in the model year the 2010 Acura MDX[28] Mid Model Change (MMC) and the newly introduced model year 2010 Acura ZDX.[29]
  • 2010: Ford debuts its first ACC on the sixth generation Ford Taurus (option on most models, standard on the SHO)
  • 2010: Audi introduced a GPS-guided radar ACC on Audi A8#D4[30]
  • 2010: Volkswagen Passat B7, CC. Update of ACC and updated Front Assist. Introduced emergency braking, named "City". Car could brake automatically to prevent collision.
  • 2010: Jeep introduced ACC on the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee[31]
  • 2013: Mercedes introduced "Distronic Plus with Steering Assist" (traffic jam assist) on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W222)[32]
  • 2013: BMW introduced Active Cruise Control with Traffic Jam Assistant.[33]
  • 2014: Chrysler introduced full speed range radar "Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop+" on the 2015 Chrysler 200.
  • 2014: Tesla introduced autopilot feature to Model S cars, enabling semi-autonomous cruise control.[34][35][36]
  • 2015: Ford introduced first pickup truck with ACC on the 2015 Ford F150.
  • 2015: Honda introduced its European CR-V 2015 with predictive cruise control.[37]

TypesEdit

 
The Jeep adaptive cruise control radar sensor located in the center of the lower grill
 
Autonomous cruise control on VW Golf
 
Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC)
SteeringSwitch(ProPilot)
Nissan Serena

Laser-based systems do not detect and track vehicles in adverse weather conditions nor do they reliably track dirty (and therefore non-reflective) vehicles. Laser-based sensors must be exposed, the sensor (a fairly large black box) is typically found in the lower grille, offset to one side.

Radar-based sensors can be hidden behind plastic fascias; however, the fascias may look different from a vehicle without the feature. For example, Mercedes-Benz packages the radar behind the upper grille in the center and behind a solid plastic panel that has painted slats to simulate the look of the rest of the grille.

Single radar systems are the most common. Systems involving multiple sensors use either two similar hardware sensors like the 2010 Audi A8[38] or the 2010 Volkswagen Touareg,[39] or one central long range radar coupled with two short radar sensors placed on the corners of the vehicle like the BMW 5 and 6 series.[40]

A more recent development is the binocular computer vision system, such as that introduced to the US market in model year 2013 by Subaru. These systems have front-facing video cameras mounted on either side of the rear view mirror and use digital processing to extract depth information from the parallax between the two cameras' views.

Assisting systemsEdit

Radar-based ACC often feature a precrash system, which warns the driver and/or provides brake support if there is a high risk of a collision. Also in certain cars it is incorporated with a lane maintaining system which provides a power steering assist to reduce steering input burden on corners when the cruise control system is activated.

Multi-sensor systemsEdit

Systems with multiple sensors can practice sensor fusion to integrate the data from to improve safety and/or driving experience. GPS data can inform the system of geographic features such as a freeway offramp. A camera system could notice driver behavior such as brake lights and/or a turn signal. This could allow a following car to interpret a turn signal by an exit as not requiring the following car to slow down, as the leading car will exit.[30] Multi-sensor systems could also take note of traffic signs/signals and not, e.g., violate a red light while following a vehicle that crossed before the signal changed.

Predictive systemsEdit

Predict systems modify speed based on predictions of other vehicles' behavior. Such systems can make earlier, more moderate adjustments to the predicted behavior, improving safety and passenger comfort. One example is to predict the likelihood of a vehicle in a neighbouring lane moving in front of the controlled vehicle. One system predicts a lane change up to five seconds before it occurs.[37]

Vehicle models supporting adaptive cruise controlEdit

The three main categories of ACC are:

  • Vehicles with Full Speed Range 0MPH are able to bring the car to a full stop to 0 mph and need to be re-activated to continue moving with something like a tap of the gas pedal.
  • Vehicles with Traffic Jam Assist / Stop & Go auto resume from standstill to creep with stop and go traffic.
  • Vehicles with Partial cruise control cuts off & turns off below a set minimum speed, requiring driver intervention.
  • Vehicles with fully automated speed control can respond to traffic signals and non-vehicular on-road activity.
Make Full speed range ACC Partial cruise control
Models Notes Models Notes
Aftermarket Any Vehicle 1990+ Uses OpenCV with no braking.

Motor Authority Review[41]

Acura RLX (2014+), MDX (2014+), TLX (2015+) 2005 RL, MDX, ZDX, 2016 MDX is 0 mph type, 2016 ILX,[42] RDX[43]
Alfa Romeo Giulia (2016+) Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go[44]
Audi A8, A7 (2010+), A6 (2011+); A7 (2013+), Q7 (2007+), A3 Prestige (2013+), Q5 (2013+), A5 (2016+), A4 (2016+) Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go A3, A4, A5, Q5, A6, A7, A8 (also uses data from navigation and front camera sensors),[45] Q7
Bentley Continental GT (2009+) Follow-to-Stop option
BMW 5-series (2007+), 7-series (2009+), X5 (2011+)[46] excl Diesel, 3-series (2013+), i3 (2014+), X3 (2014+) Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go Series 7, 5, 6, 3 (2000+), Mini (2014+) Stop & Go/Lane Assist controls steering for up to 30 seconds of hands-off driving. Highway driving only. Available on 3, 5, 6 and 7 models.

Active Cruise Control[47]

Buick Lacrosse (2014+)[48]
Cadillac XTS, ATS, SRX (2013+), CTS (2014+), ELR, Escalade (2015+ Premium trim) Also includes full power automatic braking under 20 mph 2004 XLR, 2005 STS, 2006 DTS (shuts off below 25 mph)
Chevrolet Impala (2014+), Malibu (2016+), Volt (2017+) Tahoe/Suburban (2015+)
Chrysler 200c (2015+), 300 (2015+ in S, C, or C Platinum trims), Pacifica (2017+ in Touring L Plus or Limited trims) Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go.[49] 2007–2014 300C laser, for a limited time, now uses a Bosch radar-based system
Dodge Charger (2015+), Challenger (2015+) 2011 Charger, 2011 Durango radar, by Bosch
Ford Everest (2015+, Trend and Titanium models only),[50] Fusion (2017+) Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go (optional) 2015+ F150[51] 2011+Explorer, 2017+ Fiesta, 2013+ Ford FLEX, 2006 Mondeo, 2013 Kuga, 2013+ Fusion, S-Max, Galaxy, 2010+ Taurus, 2011+ Edge Disables and does not work or brake under 20 mph; - Radar[52] Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support
Honda Accord (2018+)[53], CRV (2017+), Available with Honda Sensing package (2016+) Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow 2003 Inspire, 2005 Legend, 2013 Accord (USA), 2007 CR-V series III, 2015 Honda CRV, 2016+ Honda Pilot[54], 2018 Honda Odyssey Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Mitigating Braking System with Honda Sensing[55]
Hyundai Azera (2011+), Equus (2012+), Genesis (2015+), Sonata (2015+), Santa Fe (2017+), Santa Fe Sport (2017+), Ioniq (2017+) Genesis (2010+), Elantra (2017+)
Infiniti EX (2010+)*, Q50 (2014+) older laser based system* 2006 EX, M, Q45, QX56, G35, FX35/45/50, G37 shuts off below 3 mph, EX: in North America as an option, shuts off below 40 km/h
Jaguar 1999 XK-R, S-Type, XJ, XF
Jeep Cherokee (2014+, Limited and TrailHawk Models), Grand Cherokee (2012+)[56] Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) - Stop/Start again option on 2017 models but not prior models. 2011–2013 Grand Cherokee (Option on Limited & Overland, standard on Summit) radar, by Bosch

disengages below 15 mph[57]

Kia Cadenza (2014+), Sedona (2015+), K900 (2015+), Optima (2016+), Sorento (2016+), Niro (2017+) Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC)
Land Rover Range Rover (2013+) Range Rover Sport
Lincoln Continental (2017+),[58] MKZ (2017+)[59] Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go. MKS (2009+), MKT (2010+), MKX (2011+), MKZ (2013+), MKC (2015+) Radar[52] Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support
Lexus LS 460 (2006+), GS hybrid (2013+), GS non-hybrid (2016+), RX (2016+), RX hybrid (2016+), NX (2015+), NX hybrid (2015+) Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
LS 460 full ACC not available in US until 2013
2000 LS430/460 (laser and radar), RX (laser and radar), GS, IS, ES 350, and LX 570 (shuts off below 25 mph)
Mazda CX-5, CX-9 (2017+)[60] Mazda6 (2014+), Mazda3, CX-5 (2016+) Radar Cruise Control and Forward Obstruction Warning[61]
Mitsubishi Outlander (2014+)
Mercedes-Benz S (2006+), B, E, CLS, CL (2009+); A, CLA, M, G, GL (2013+) Distronic Plus 1998 S, E, CLS, SL, CL, M, GL, CLK, 2012 C Distronic
Nissan Murano (2015+), Maxima (2016+), Altima (2016+), Sentra (2017+), Note (2017+), Leaf(2018+) Stops vehicle but resets after 3 seconds, requiring brake application to sit still and setting cruise speed again. 1998 Cima, Primera T-Spec Models Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC)
Porsche Panamera (2010+); Cayenne (2011+), Cayman (2013+), Boxster(2012+) Porsche Active Safe (PAS), PDK transmission only.
Seat León (2012+), Ateca[62]
Skoda Octavia (2013+), Fabia (2014+), Superb (2014+)
Subaru Legacy, Outback (2013+), Forester (2014+), Impreza (2015+), WRX (2016+), Crosstrek (2016+), Ascent (2019+) 0 mph EyeSight[63][64] Non-Radar Camera System
Suzuki Swift 2017+ Vitara (2015+), Sx4 Scross (2016+) radar
Tesla Model S (late 2014+), Model X, Model 3 Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC)[65] with Stop-and-Go
Toyota Prius + Prius Prime (2016+), Camry (2018+), C-HR (2018+), Avalon (2017+), Land Cruiser (2018+), Rav 4 (2019+), Corolla Hatchback (2019+), Corolla (2020+) Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) 2.0 on 2019+ RAV4 and 2020+ Corolla has full speed range. 1997 Celsior, 2004 Sienna (XLE Limited Edition), Avalon, Sequoia (Platinum Edition), Avensis, 2009 Corolla (Japan),[66] 2017+ Corolla,[67] 2010 Prius, 2013+ Prius v,[68] 2014+ Highlander,[69] 2015+ Camry,[70] 2016+ RAV4[71] Dynamic Laser Cruise Control (DLCC) on 2009+ Sienna XLE Limited, Avalon Limited and Sequoia Platinum shuts off below 25 mph (US)[72]
Vauxhall / Opel Insignia, Zafira Tourer (on selected variants of SE, SRi, Elite, VXR), Astra
Volkswagen Phaeton (2010+), Passat B8 (2014+), Touareg (2011+) Golf Mk7 (2013+), Polo (2014+), Jetta (2016+ SEL Trim), Tiguan SEL (2018+), ATLAS SEL (2018+) Tiguan SEL and ATLAS SEL (2018+) ACC stop-and-go Passat, Phaeton all generations, Touareg
Volvo All Volvo models 2015+

Also before 2015 ACC was available on V40, S60,[73] V60, XC60, V70, XC70 and S80

ACC also includes automatic braking. Newest models feature full power auto-brake with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

Mercedes Distronic PlusEdit

In 1999, Mercedes introduced Distronic, the first radar-assisted adaptive system, on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W220)[8][74] and the CL-Class.[10] Distronic adjusts the vehicle speed automatically to the car in front in order to always maintain a safe distance to other cars on the road.

 
Mercedes-Benz S 450 4MATIC Coupe. The forward-facing Distronic sensors are usually placed behind the Mercedes-Benz logo and front grille.

In 2005, Mercedes refined the system ("Distronic Plus") making the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (W221) the first car to receive the upgraded system. Distronic Plus could now completely halt the car if necessary on most sedans. In an episode of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson demonstrated the effectiveness of the system by coming to a complete halt from motorway speeds to a round-about and getting out, without touching the pedals.[75]

In 2016, Mercedes introduced Active Brake Assist 4, the first emergency braking assistant with pedestrian recognition.[76]

One crash caused by Distronic Plus dates to 2005, when German news magazine "Stern" was testing Mercedes' original Distronic system. During the test, the system did not always manage to brake in time.[77] Ulrich Mellinghoff, then Head of Safety, NVH, and Testing at the Mercedes-Benz Technology Centre, stated that some tests failed because the vehicle was tested in a metallic hall, which caused problems with radar. Later iterations received an upgraded radar and other sensors, which are not disrupted by a metallic environment.[77][78] In 2008, Mercedes conducted a study comparing the crash rates of Distronic Plus vehicles and vehicles without it, and concluded that those equipped with Distronic Plus have an around 20% lower crash rate.[79]

See alsoEdit

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External linksEdit