Cruise Control – Is It Really Essential?

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As a human, we love discovering new places. But driving to such places is sometimes tiresome. If it involves driving on straight highways, then it becomes a bit tedious. To maintain a constant speed and get good fuel efficiency, we have to keep the accelerator pedal lightly pressed. It is a bit stressful to keep doing so. This can sometimes result in accidents. But nowadays, we see many car companies giving the cruise control feature in their cars to make sure this does not happen. With many automotive manufacturers selling vehicles with this feature, things get confusing for the buyers. Here the question arises; what is Cruise Control? and is it necessary? Let’s find out.

What is Cruise Control ?

This is a system that controls the speed of a motor vehicle automatically. It is also known as speed control or autocruise. There is a servomechanism that takes over the throttle of the car to maintain a steady speed as set by the driver. But there is a certain speed requirement for this. After the driver attains the required speed, the system takes input from the speed of driveshaft or wheel speed sensors and sets the throttle fixed at that position. Manufacturers mostly prefer vacuum-operated actuator mechanisms to hold the throttle in position. As soon as the driver touches either the brake or clutch pedal, the system gets disabled.

Why is it useful ?

Cruise control is useful for long drives because it reduces driver and improves comfort by allowing the changes in position safely. It is useful in controlling speed. A driver who otherwise unconsciously increases speed over course of a highway journey can get help by this feature. This feature also increases fuel efficiency.

What are the disadvantages ?

There are multiple reasons due to which cruise control can lead to accidents. It is not useful in hazardous weather conditions. While speeding around curves that require slowing down, it is difficult to control. The normal system is useless in varied terrains with a combination of smooth and rough terrain. The problem with the system is that it increases the habit of drivers to pay less attention to driving, thus increasing the risk of accidents.

Adaptive Cruise Control

The improved version of cruise control gets some improvements over the standard and is implemented in some modern vehicles. These can be in automatic braking or set-speed type dynamic controls. Vehicles with adaptive cruise control are considered as Level 1 autonomous car, as defined by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) International.

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