What Is Adaptive Cruise Control? Is It Worth Paying For?

With the development of the car industry today, many cars equip themselves with the best features. In fact, most of the best, coolest and luxury automobile technologies nowadays are installed on normal cars. And cruise control is one of them. Apart from base trims of entry-level vehicles as well as specialized performance cars, all vehicles have cruise control. If you are an expert driver, the term of adaptive cruise control is no stranger. However, if you just received your automobile this recent week, this system is actually quite new. So what is this control and do we need to have it?

Adaptive Cruise Control: Is This Feature For You?

The Definition of Adaptive Cruise Control

Imagine when you are driving for such a long time and still want to keep up at your desired speed. It is such a hard task for every driver since you have to use the accelerator all the time. And that’s why we have adaptive cruise control. 

This car component controls and helps other non-adaptive systems in order to maintain the right speed, especially on the highway. Not to mention, adaptive cruise control even goes to another level: Car owners can set the following distance from ahead cars as well as desired speed. In case when a slower car moves in front of you, this system will also slow down automatically with the purpose of maintaining the preset following distance. And when the car moves out of the way, it will increase the speed to reach the original preset speed. 

This reduces the stress and effort when driving on long road trips greatly. And with the most advanced technology, this system also combines with the navigation system of the car and forward looking cameras. This combination allows the system to slow down if the posted speed limit changes, or when the car goes around tighter curves. 

The Convenience of Adaptive Cruise Control

You might be wondering, this is truly a good car system, but how can this adaptive cruise control make the commute easier? As we mentioned before, this system can relieve the stress of controlling the accelerator pedal for drivers in various cases, and that is the most basic system.

The ability to slow down automatically is very useful (Photo source: Pexels)

With upgraded adaptive cruise control systems, drivers can use a feature called traffic jam assist. To be more specific, the car can use stop and go functionality, which allows the driver to use adaptive cruise control at low speeds. The system’s ability plays a critical role in this action. And when there is traffic ahead, this system will stop the car as well. 

You might be asking, so what does the system do after that? They will automatically deactivate for a few seconds after stopping. And this allows drivers to either press the accelerator pedal or the resume button to get going. Along with that, there are many driver assistance technologies like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking ,lane keeping assist and pedestrian detection. All of them serve a purpose of providing the highest level of commuter stress relief.

Just like Audis or Subarus, car owners can even adjust the aggressiveness of the technology. With advanced models, this system allows the car to accelerate smoothly and automatically brake in dangerous situations. 


The Limitations of Adaptive Cruise Control

Just like any safety system or car components, adaptive cruise control has its disadvantages. With standard cruise control, car owners need to steer the car. Of course, if the car ahead brakes and stops suddenly, you will need to step on the brake pedal yourself. 

This happens when you have obstacles in the road as well. In these situations, you need to perform and intervene by hand. Not to mention, the debris as well as weather can affect the system. To be more specific, the adaptive cruise control needs the camera sensors as well as radar in order to detect cars ahead. The weather can affect these car parts, and affect the system as well. 

Is Adaptive Cruise Control Worth It?

We now know that this system is amazing, however, is it worth paying for? If you think you can trust the technology and the commute is long, then you might want this adaptive cruise control. 

car interior
If you want to relieve stress when driving, this might be your cup of tea (Photo source: Pexels)

With this technology, car owners can let the car to brake and accelerator for most of the driving journey. It is like having your private driver. And this can surely relieve the stress associated with driving.

On the other hand, sometimes this system might be too sensitive with braking when it comes to a stop. And many people might not be a big fan of that.  

Automakers with Amazing Adaptive Cruise Control System

Subaru, Honda, BMW, Hyundai, Kia, Ford and Nissan are the famous names that we can immediately tell when talking about good adaptive cruise control. Car owners can surely expect standout systems as well as smoothly operating systems. 

With these brands, the name of adaptive cruise control system changes. With Subaru, we have Adaptive Cruise Control and Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering. With Honda as well as Acura, the name changes to Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow. The system is called Active Cruise Control, Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go for BMW. With Hyundai, this system is named Smart Cruise Control. For Kia vehicles, the carmakers add the Advanced Smart Cruise Control instead. Along with that, Nissan and Infiniti have the Intelligent Cruise Control.

Along with the most famous and guaranteed brands, we have Toyota as well as Mercedes-Benz in the list. However, there are no adaptive cruise control systems for these automakers. Instead, they called it Dynamic Cruise Control, Dynamic Cruise Control with Stop and Go for Toyota and Lexus. With Mercedes-Benz, car owners has Active Distance Assist Distronic.