Vehicle Cruise Control has been around a long time, there have been several advances in the last few years increasing driver comfort and convenience. The primary purpose of cruise control is to enable you to maintain a minimum speed or greater without holding down the accelerator.
When to NOT use your cruise control:
Cruise control can be dangerous, when you can’t drive safely at a steady speed. Also, don’t use your cruise control on winding roads or in heavy traffic. Cruise control is also very dangerous on slippery/wet roads. On such roads, fast changes in the traction may cause excessive wheel slip, and you could lose control.
The driver must bring the vehicle up to speed manually and use a button to set the cruise control to the current speed.
The cruise control takes its speed signal from a rotating driveshaft, speedometer cable, wheel speed sensor from the engine’s RPM, or from internal speed pulses produced electronically by the vehicle. Most systems do not allow the use of the cruise control below a certain speed. The vehicle will maintain the desired speed by pulling the throttle cable with a solenoid, a vacuum driven servomechanism, or by using the electronic systems built into the vehicle (fully electronic) if it uses a ‘drive-by-wire’ system.
All cruise control systems must be capable of being turned off both explicitly and automatically when the driver depresses the brake, and often also the clutch. Cruise control often includes a memory feature to resume the set speed after braking, and a coast feature to reduce the set speed without braking. When the cruise control is engaged, the throttle can still be used to accelerate the vehicle, but once the pedal is released the vehicle will then slow down until it reaches the previously set speed.
On the latest vehicles fitted with electronic throttle control, cruise control can be easily integrated into the vehicle’s engine management system. Modern ‘adaptive’ systems include the ability to automatically reduce speed when the distance to a vehicle in front, or the speed limit, decreases. This is an advantage for those driving in unfamiliar areas.
What at the advantages of cruise control?
- It’s usefulness for long drivers (reducing driver fatigue, improving comfort by allowing positioning changes more safely) across motorways and sparsely populated roads.
- Some drivers use it to avoid subconsciously violating speed limits. A driver who otherwise tends to subconsciously increase speed over the course of a highway journey may avoid speeding.
- Help to optimise fuel economy and reduce engine wear.
- Cruise control and also help to keep your speed within the speed limit.