We have come a long way when it comes to car safety features. In other words, it is not limited to airbags and seat belts. From lane departure warnings to blind spot recognition, the safety features that a car now comes equipped with are many. Adaptive Cruise Control is one such feature that enhances the car’s safety on a busy road. So, what does ACC mean in a car? While it aids in maintaining a safe distance, does it ensure safety? We look into the different aspects of ACC in a car, how it works, and how to correctly use this feature.
What is ACC in a car?
Adaptive cruise control (ACC) helps vehicles keep a safe following distance and adhere to the speed limit by automatically adjusting the vehicle’s speed. In other words, if your car is equipped with ACC, then the system regulates the speed, not the driver. Therefore, ACC will allow speeding and slowing down based on how the vehicle in front behaves.
In addition, ACC is becoming a common feature of cars and an important part of self-driving cars. It is also known as automatic cruise control, active cruise control, cooperative adaptive cruise control, intelligent cruise control, and radar cruise control.
How does adaptive cruise control work?
ACC functions based on sensory technology. This is seen in the car’s cameras, lasers, and radar equipment that rely on sensory technology. In short, while driving, it provides information on how close vehicles are on the road and alerts the driver in case of any chance of crashes.
For instance, the ACC on a car work according to the following steps.
- Set the desired speed.
- Set the gap you desire to maintain. In case of the gap changes, ACC will regulate the gap accordingly.
- Stay alert about the traffic around.
Which are the types of Adaptive Cruise Control?
They produce radar waves continuously and detect a car’s presence in front of you.
They operate by the continuous emission of laser beams and the detection of the presence of a vehicle in front of the user.
Customers can buy these radar-based add-ons to enhance the functionality of their ACC system.
These most recent ACC systems estimate traffic patterns using data from GPS and mapping systems and change your speed accordingly.
This will use more than one of the techniques mentioned above to carry out an integrated and more efficient functioning of the adaptive cruise control.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of ACC?
It might be quite surprising to note that this safety feature has its own perks and perils.
Advantages of ACC
If you are driving on a road with limited traffic and fewer terrain shifts, then ACC certainly aids in relaxed driving.
Controlled Fuel Consumption
If you are driving in the ACC mode, you drive steadily without much change in speed. As a result, fuel consumption is minimized.
Reduced Driver Fatigue
ACC will take control of regulating the speed, therefore, ensuring a more relaxed driving experience.
Disadvantages of ACC
Reliant on Technology
ACC is a technology-reliant feature that can fail if there is a fault with the system or an obstruction with the sensors.
Cost of ACC
ACC functions on specific software, so it can be expensive. Cars equipped with ACC can be costly. The repair and replacement costs can also be higher.
Misuse of Technology
One can, however, be tempted to speed or stay less alert relying completely on the system. In other words, there are chances for ACC to be slightly misused on the road.
What does ACC mean in a car ignition?
However, ACC in a car not only stands for adaptive cruise control but also for the accessory in the ignition. ACC in ignition turns on the car accessories but not the engine.
In other words, the engine does not switch on when you turn the key to the second ignition position. Your car’s radio, power windows, windshield wipers, lights, heat, and air conditioning can function without the engine being switched on.
However, using these functions without your car running can drain the car’s battery.
How much does an ACC system cost?
The price of an adaptive cruise control system will vary based on the number of functions required. If you want an ACC with every available option, you should be prepared to invest between $2,000 and $2,500. On the other hand, these more basic ACCs can cost as little as $500 if you opt for a basic cruise control that would benefit speeds between 20 and 25 mph.
Is it safe to use ACC?
While adaptive cruise control in a car is a feature that ensures a better driving experience, there have been reported cases of misuse. In addition, a study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Studies observes that drivers who use ACC will likely set their speed high over the limit, believing that the system will correct itself, which leads to fatal crashes.
Which are the cars that have adaptive cruise control?
The 2020 models of the BMW 3 series, Volvo S 60, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Corolla are some of the cars equipped with adaptive cruise control. However, this feature is also hosted on cheaper models like the 2019 Kia Soul, 2018 Honda Accord, Mazda 3, Hyundai Sonata, and Toyota Rav4.