Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

BY Scott C. Benjamin / POSTED October 23, 2010
Hammerbrook - City can this really be true?
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While I’m sure that we’ve talked about cruise control in the past, I thought we’d take just a few moments today to talk about a recent (but not necessarily new) variation of that original system — Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). And since it’s not all-new technology, I’ll just give you a quick description of how the system works…

Onboard radar technology maintains a pre-set distance between the DRCC-equipped car and the car driving ahead of that car. If the system detects that the vehicle ahead is getting a little too close, the speed is automatically lowered and the vehicle’s brakes are applied. If the distance between the cars is increased (or if the road ahead is clear) the vehicle will return to its pre-set speed.

In other words, it’s kind of like everything you already enjoy about cruise control, but with a bit of a high-tech, safety twist.

Mercedes-Benz was the first manufacturer to offer adaptive cruise control (ACC) — the German automaker called it the Distronic system. After that, it wasn’t long before other manufacturers brought similar systems to market: Audi, BMW, Infinity, Lexus and Jaguar, just to name a few. And for awhile, it was offered only as an expensive option on a small number of high-end automobiles. I guess that’s why I decided to mention this today.

Just like air conditioning, power locks and heated seats were once considered an extravagant luxury in a few expensive cars, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is beginning to find its way into some “everyday” cars like the new Toyota Prius and Sienna, Volkswagens, Nissans and a few others, too. Now, I don’t know about you, but I really like it when high-end technology trickles down to the lower end of a manufacturer’s new-car lineup. It gives me hope that I’ll someday have a shot at owning a car with all the bells and whistles — but at an economy-car price.

Really, just give it a few more years and…well, who knows? DRCC just might be a standard feature found on all new cars and trucks someday.

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