cruise control features

Advertisement

How Cruise Control Systems Work

  • Share Content on Facebook
  • Share Content on LinkedIn
  • Share Content on Flipboard
  • Share Content on Reddit
  • Share Content via Email

cruise control

Cruise control is an invaluable feature on Ameri­can ­cars. Without cruise control, long road trips would be more tiring, for the driver at least, and those of us suffering from lead-foot syndrome would probably get a lot more speeding tickets.

­Cruise control is far more common on American cars than European cars, because the roads in America are generally bigger and straighter, and destinations are farther apart. With traffic continually increasing, basic cruise control is becoming less useful, but instead of becoming obsolete, cruise control systems are adapting to this new reality -- soon, cars will be equipped with adaptive cruise control, which will allow your ­car to follow the car in front of it while continually adjusting speed to maintain a safe distance.

In this article, we'll learn how a conventional cruise control system works, and then we'll take a look at adaptive cruise control systems that are under development.

What Cruise Control Does

Cruise control acceleration and deceleration, controlling the cruise control, adaptive cruise control.

cruise control features

The cruise control system actually has a lot of functions other than controlling the speed of your car. For instance, the cruise control pictured below can accelerate or decelerate the car by 1 mph with the tap of a button. Hit the button five times to go 5 mph faster. There are also several important safety features -- the cruise control will disengage as soon as you hit the brake pedal, and it won't engage at speeds less than 25 mph (40 kph).

The system pictured below has five buttons: On, Off, Set/Accel, Resume and Coast. It also has a sixth control -- the brake pedal, and if your car has a manual transmission the clutch pedal is also hooked up to the cruise control.

  • The on and off buttons don't actually do much. Hitting the on button does not do anything except tell the car that you might be hitting another button soon. The off button turns the cruise control off even if it is engaged. Some cruise controls don't have these buttons; instead, they turn off when the driver hits the brakes, and turn on when the driver hits the set button.
  • The set/accel button tells the car to maintain the speed you are currently driving. If you hit the set button at 45 mph, the car will maintain your speed at 45 mph. Holding down the set/accel button will make the car accelerate; and on this car, tapping it once will make the car go 1 mph faster.
  • If you recently disengaged the cruise control by hitting the brake pedal, hitting the resume button will command the car to accelerate back to the most recent speed setting.
  • Holding down the coast button will cause the car to decelerate, just as if you took your foot completely off the gas. On this car, tapping the coast button once will cause the car to slow down by 1 mph.
  • The brake pedal and clutch pedal each have a switch that disengages the cruise control as soon as the pedal is pressed, so you can shut off the cruise control with a light tap on the brake or clutch.

cruise control features

The cruise control system controls the speed of your car the same way you do -- by adjusting the throttle position . But cruise control actuates the throttle valve by a cable connected to an actuator , instead of by pressing a pedal. The throttle valve controls the power and speed of the engine by limiting how much air the engine takes in (see How Fuel Injection Systems Work for more details).

In the picture above, you can see two cables connected to a pivot that moves the throttle valve. One cable comes from the accelerator pedal, and one from the actuator. When the cruise control is engaged, the actuator moves the cable connected to the pivot, which adjusts the throttle; but it also pulls on the cable that is connected to the gas pedal -- this is why your pedal moves up and down when the cruise control is engaged.

cruise control features

Many cars use actuators powered by engine vacuum to open and close the throttle. These systems use a small, electronically-controlled valve to regulate the vacuum in a diaphragm. This works in a similar way to the brake booster , which provides power to your brake system.

cruise control features

The brain of a cruise control system is a small computer that is normally found under the hood or behind the dashboard. It connects to the throttle control seen in the previous section, as well as several sensors. The diagram below shows the inputs and outputs of a typical cruise control system.

A good cruise control system accelerates aggressively to the desired speed without overshooting, and then maintains that speed with little deviation no matter how much weight is in the car, or how steep the hill you drive up. Controlling the speed of a car is a classic application of control system theory . The cruise control system controls the speed of the car by adjusting the throttle position, so it needs sensors to tell it the speed and throttle position. It also needs to monitor the controls so it can tell what the desired speed is and when to disengage.

The most important input is the speed signal; the cruise control system does a lot with this signal. First, let's start with one of the most basic control systems you could have -- a proportional control .

In a proportional control system, the cruise control adjusts the throttle proportional to the error, the error being the difference between the desired speed and the actual speed. So, if the cruise control is set at 60 mph and the car is going 50 mph, the throttle position will be open quite far. When the car is going 55 mph, the throttle position opening will be only half of what it was before. The result is that the closer the car gets to the desired speed, the slower it accelerates. Also, if you were on a steep enough hill, the car might not accelerate at all.

Most cruise control systems use a control scheme called proportional-integral-derivative control (a.k.a. PID control). Don't worry, you don't need to know any calculus to make it through this explanation -- just remember that:

  • The integral of speed is distance.
  • The derivative of speed is acceleration.

A PID control system uses these three factors -- proportional, integral and derivative, calculating each individually and adding them to get the throttle position.

We've already discussed the proportional factor. The integral factor is based on the time integral of the vehicle speed error . Translation: the difference between the distance your car actually traveled and the distance it would have traveled if it were going at the desired speed, calculated over a set period of time. This factor helps the car deal with hills, and also helps it settle into the correct speed and stay there. Let's say your car starts to go up a hill and slows down. The proportional control increases the throttle a little, but you may still slow down. After a little while, the integral control will start to increase the throttle, opening it more and more, because the longer the car maintains a speed slower than the desired speed, the larger the distance error gets.

Now let's add in the final factor, the derivative . Remember that the derivative of speed is acceleration. This factor helps the cruise control respond quickly to changes, such as hills. If the car starts to slow down, the cruise control can see this acceleration (slowing down and speeding up are both acceleration) before the speed can actually change much, and respond by increasing the throttle position.

Two companies are developing a more advanced cruise control that can automatically adjust a car's speed to maintain a safe following distance. This new technology, called adaptive cruise control , uses forward-looking radar , installed behind the grill of a vehicle, to detect the speed and distance of the vehicle ahead of it.

Adaptive cruise control is similar to conventional cruise control in that it maintains the vehicle's pre-set speed. However, unlike conventional cruise control, this new system can automatically adjust speed in order to maintain a proper distance between vehicles in the same lane. This is achieved through a radar headway sensor , digital signal processor and longitudinal controller . If the lead vehicle slows down, or if another object is detected, the system sends a signal to the engine or braking system to decelerate. Then, when the road is clear, the system will re-accelerate the vehicle back to the set speed.

The 77-GHz Autocruise radar system made by TRW has a forward-looking range of up to 492 feet (150 meters), and operates at vehicle speeds ranging from 18.6 miles per hour (30 kph) to 111 mph (180 kph). Delphi's 76-GHz system can also detect objects as far away as 492 feet, and operates at speeds as low as 20 mph (32 kph).

Adaptive cruise control is just a preview of the technology being developed by both companies. These systems are being enhanced to include collision warning capabilities that will warn drivers through visual and/or audio signals that a collision is imminent and that braking or evasive steering is needed.

For more information on cruise control, check out the links below.

Cruise Control FAQ

How does cruise control work, how does adaptive cruise control work, will adaptive cruise control stop the vehicle, when would you use cruise control, how useful is cruise control, lots more information, related articles.

  • How Car Engines Work
  • How Brakes Work
  • How Manual Transmissions Work
  • How Fuel Injection Systems Work
  • How Radar Detectors Work
  • Ignition System Quiz

More Great Links

  • BMW: Cruise-control-equipped motorcycle
  • Cruise Control Block Diagram
  • Cruise Control Installers' Instructions
  • Cruise Control Service Tips

Please copy/paste the following text to properly cite this HowStuffWorks.com article:

What is Cruise Control

Cruise Control Explained – All You Need to Know

Zutobi

Cruise control has come a long way since first invented and patented by Ralph Teetor in 1950, who originally named it the “Speedostat”. Chrysler Corporation was the first manufacturer to offer the groundbreaking mechanism as an option on several of its luxury vehicle models nine years later. Today, cruise control is rapidly becoming the standard on all new vehicles, providing drivers with increased convenience on their daily drive.

As you’re learning how to operate a vehicle , understanding cruise control will help increase your comfort behind the wheel and knowledge of driving.

What is Cruise Control?

Cruise control is an electronic device within your vehicle that controls the speed of your vehicle. It allows the driver to maintain a constant speed of 25 mph without holding their foot on the accelerator. Although the feature has been around for 70 years, automotive manufacturers continue to improve upon the technology to provide drivers with increased comfort, luxury, and convenience whenever they’re behind the wheel.

cars driving on a freeway with little traffic

Different Types of Cruise Control

There are 3 types of cruise control systems.

  • Speed Limiter
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Semi-autonomous Cruise Control

What is a Speed Limiter?

A speed limiter will limit how fast the driver can accelerate behind the wheel. All modern vehicles contain a standard speed limiter capping speed between 120 mph and 180 mph depending to protect the vehicle’s engine and discourage reckless driving. However, an additional limiter can be added as an option in many European-made cars, as well as Tesla, Ford, and Nissan. Drivers are still required to keep their foot on the pedal to keep their vehicle in motion, but will not be able to accelerate past a predefined speed limit.

What is Adaptive Cruise Control?

Adaptive cruise c ontrol uses sensors around the vehicle’s exterior to maintain speed while keeping a safe following distance from the car ahead. The system will slow you down and speed you up as the flow of traffic fluctuates throughout your commute, removing a lot of the stress from daily driving. However, adaptive cruise control may not work well in bad weather or protect you from sudden movements, so you will want to always keep your full attention on the road.

What is Semi-autonomous Cruise Control?

Luxury automakers such as Tesla and Audi are implementing the newest rendition of cruise control on their latest vehicle models – Semi-autonomous Cruise Control. It works largely the same as adaptive cruise control, but assists drivers with lane guidance and steering. There are several variations of semi-autonomous cruise control that include additional convenience features for the driver.

How to Use Cruise Control – 6 Step Guide

These are the steps to using cruise control effectively.

  • Observe weather conditions
  • Build speed
  • Engage cruise control
  • Set cruise control
  • Watch the road and steer
  • Brake to disengage

1 – Observe weather conditions

As mentioned, cruise control may become inconsistent in rainy, snowy, or otherwise hazardous conditions. If you must drive in this situation, it may be a better idea to do so manually. Cruise control works best on a clear day with constant traffic flow.

cruise control features

2 – Build speed

Accelerate to your desired speed as you prepare to activate cruise control. US highways have posted speed limits between 55 mph and 75 mph. Do not attempt to set cruise control when you are traveling over the speed limit.

3 – Engage cruise control

Once you’ve reached your desired speed, engage the cruise control. This step will vary widely based on your vehicle make and model, however, many cruise control settings are accessible from the steering wheel controls. Check your owner’s manual for further information.

4 – Set cruise control

After turning on cruise control, you’ll need to set your desired speed. Many systems set the cruise control at the current speed, while others require you to manually set one. You can increase and decrease this speed as needed without interrupting the mechanism.

5 – Watch the road and steer

Watching the road is essential when cruise control is engaged. Cruise control is not a substitute for a human driver and will require supervision at every step. If you are using a semi-autonomous system, you will not need to steer but will need to keep at least one hand on the wheel for safety measures.

cruise control features

6 – Brake to disengage

When cruise control is no longer needed, or you need to quickly make a maneuver, simply apply pressure to the brakes to disengage the system. Once deactivated, you will be in full control of your vehicle once again.

When NOT to Use Cruise Control

While cruise control is a convenient feature for modern drivers, it is not perfect for all circumstances. In fact, utilizing the system can be quite dangerous if you’re not careful. Be sure not to use cruise control under these conditions.

Heavy Traffic

Heavy, or stop-and-go traffic is not ideal for safely using cruise control. When engaging cruise control on the highway, ensure your lane is clear and there are no vehicles stopping ahead.

highway with heavy traffic

Wet or Icy Conditions

You need to be driving slowly while on wet and icy roads. While cruise control keeps a constant, predetermined speed, it takes away a lot of the manual control needed to stay safe when it’s raining or snowing.

City Driving

While driving through the city, you’ll face a number of stop lights and stop signs that will require manual braking. This action will automatically disengage cruise control.

Winding Roads

Winding roads require more attention than straight, flat streets. Cruise control systems, even adaptable cruise control, may not always detect these streets correctly, causing accidents.

winding road in the mountains

Fatigued Driving

Driving while fatigued is never a good idea, but even less so while using cruise control. Utilizing the system may add to your fatigue, as you give your vehicle more control of the journey. If you’re even the least bit tired, you should never turn on cruise control.

As you can see, cruise control is a great way to relieve much of the stress that comes with everyday driving. The constant rate of speed can also drastically improve fuel efficiency for longer drivers. Cruise control has had a positive impact on the driving industry for 70 years and shows no signs of disappearing anytime soon.

student

550+ exam-like questions

All you need to ace your test

Perfect for first-timers, renewals and senior citizens

Recommended articles

cruise control features

Cost Effective Cars

The cheapest and most expensive cars to run in the us there are so many different costs to factor in when you buy a new car. from the price of gas, to insurance and vehicle tax rates in your area. in a landscape where consumer prices fluctuate, particularly in areas like vehicle parts, used car […].

Zutobi

Driving Career Index

A driver’s license opens up numerous job opportunities. but which jobs offer the biggest growth potential with minimal training in this report, zutobi drivers ed analyzed average salary, job availability, employment change rates, and education requirements to identify the top career options for individuals with driver’s licenses. top jobs with the biggest growth opportunities first […].

Most popular cars on TikTok

Top Cars Trending on TikTok

Which cars take tiktok by storm certain cars are hailed as masterpieces of design and engineering, true artistic marvels. when individuals come across a stunning, high-end, or exceptionally remarkable car, they can’t resist the urge to capture it and share it on tiktok. as a result, tiktok is teeming with countless posts showcasing various cars, […].

Ace your DMV test, guaranteed

Get started

Best of the Zutobi blog

  • Learner’s Permit Ultimate Guide
  • Driving Test Ultimate Guide
  • Traffic Lights Guide
  • How to Pass the DMV Permit Test
  • How to Pass the Driving Test
  • Common Reasons For Failing the Road Test
  • International Driver’s Permit Guide
  • Driver’s License Renewal
  • How to Get Your US Driver’s License
  • How to Prepare for Your Road Test
  • How to Get a Driver’s Permit
  • Behind-The-Wheel training
  • Terms & conditions
  • Privacy policy
  • Do Not Sell My Personal Information
  • Subscription terms
  • Terms & policies

Practice Tests

  • Car Practice Tests
  • CDL Practice Tests
  • Motorcycle Practice Tests
  • Free Practice Tests

Get Started

  • Introduction

Start Driving

  • Knowledge test prep

Driving basics

  • Traffic signs

Drive Better

  • Safety tips

Emergency procedures & tips

  • Advanced maneuvers
  • Tech & navigation
  • Cruise control
  • Eco-friendly driving

Routine maintenance

  • DIY repairs

How-To's

Driving tips and tricks

On The Road

Travel guides

How to Use Cruise Control: Specific Things You Need to Know Well

Discover expert insights and practical tips on using cruise control effectively. This comprehensive guide covers everything from basic operations to advanced features, safety tips, and troubleshooting.

Cruise control is a valuable feature in many modern vehicles, enhancing convenience and efficiency, especially during long drives. This guide delves into the intricacies of using cruise control, offering expert insights, technical details, safety tips, and more.

Photo of a car dashboard with the cruise control stalk

​ Understanding Cruise Control

​ what is cruise control.

Cruise control is an electronic system that allows a vehicle to maintain a steady speed set by the driver . Cruise control is designed to be used on roadways without frequent stops. It’s ideal for use on highways and long stretches of road with minimal stops or turns.

​ Types of Cruise Control

  • Standard cruise control maintains a set speed until manually overridden.
  • Advanced systems, like adaptive cruise control , automatically adjust speed based on traffic conditions.

​ Operating Cruise Control

Adjusting speed.

Before activating cruise control, ensure conditions are safe. It’s not advisable to use cruise control in hazardous weather or heavy traffic.

Cruise control activation

​ Safety Tips

Remain vigilant and ready to deactivate cruise control instantly in case of an emergency or changing traffic conditions.

Speed Limits

Always adhere to speed limits. Cruise control should not be used to maintain speeds above legal limits.

​ Advanced Features

Adaptive Cruise Control

This modern feature uses sensors and radar to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, adjusting speed automatically.

​ Troubleshooting Common Issues

System Not Activating

If your cruise control doesn’t activate, start with the basics. Ensure it’s turned on and you’re at the right speed (usually above 25-30 mph). If these aren’t the issues, it might be a blown fuse, a faulty brake pedal switch, or a defective speed sensor. Check your vehicle’s manual for fuse information and consider a professional inspection of the brake pedal switch and speed sensor.

Failing to Maintain Set Speed

Trouble maintaining the set speed often points to sensor issues. Speed sensors inform the cruise control system. If these sensors are dirty or malfunctioning, the system might not maintain the speed. Cleaning sensors and checking for obstructions can help. Also, consider checking wheel alignment and tire condition, as these can affect performance.

Erratic Speed Changes

If your vehicle experiences erratic speed changes with cruise control engaged, this could indicate a problem with the throttle control system or the vehicle’s computer system. These complex issues generally require professional diagnostics and repair.

Adaptive Cruise Control Problems

With adaptive cruise control, problems can arise from blocked sensors or system malfunctions. Ensure that the sensors, often located in the front grille or under the mirrors, are clean and unobstructed. For system malfunctions, professional diagnostics are essential, as these systems involve advanced electronics and software.

​ Comparative Analysis of Modern Cruise Control Systems

In the realm of modern vehicles, cruise control systems have evolved significantly, offering a range of functionalities tailored to enhance driving experience and safety. Here’s a comparative analysis of several popular systems.

Tesla Full Self-Driving (FSD) Beta

Tesla’s FSD Beta represents a leap forward in autonomous driving technology. It’s not just a cruise control system but an advanced driver-assistance system capable of navigating complex driving scenarios. Key features include automatic lane changes, stop sign and traffic light recognition, and the ability to navigate city streets. While it offers substantial automation, it still requires driver supervision and isn’t fully autonomous.

GM's Super Cruise

General Motors’ Super Cruise system is available in select Cadillac models and provides hands-free driving assistance on compatible highways. It uses LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, and a driver attention system to ensure safety. Unlike Tesla’s FSD, it’s limited to highway use but excels in hands-free driving comfort and safety.

Ford Co-Pilot360

Ford’s Co-Pilot360 includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go and lane-centering. It’s less about hands-free driving and more about reducing driver fatigue and enhancing safety. This system is excellent for everyday driving, offering features like speed sign recognition and evasive steering assist.

Mercedes-Benz DRIVE PILOT

Mercedes-Benz DRIVE PILOT system pushes towards Level 3 autonomy, allowing drivers to hand over control under certain conditions, like heavy traffic or on highways. It uses a sophisticated array of sensors and cameras, offering a smooth and intuitive driving experience. It’s more advanced than traditional systems but still requires driver attention.

BMW's Driving Assistant Professional

BMW offers the Driving Assistant Professional system, which includes features like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, lane-keeping assistant, and traffic jam assistant. It’s designed for convenience and safety, providing a balanced mix of automation and driver control.

Each system has its strengths and caters to different driving needs and preferences. Tesla’s FSD Beta is at the forefront of autonomy but requires active supervision. GM’s Super Cruise excels in hands-free highway driving, while Ford’s Co-Pilot360 focuses on safety and driver assistance for everyday use. Mercedes-Benz and BMW offer systems that blend convenience, safety, and a step towards higher autonomy, maintaining a balance between automated and manual driving.

This comparison highlights the diversity in cruise control technologies, illustrating how each brand tailors its system to specific driving experiences and safety standards.

​ Real-World Impact

Cruise control technology not only adds convenience to driving but also significantly impacts safety and efficiency. This section delves into the real-world implications of using cruise control, supported by safety statistics and research findings.

The integration of cruise control in vehicles has been a game-changer in terms of driving safety and efficiency. Here are some key impacts:

Reduced Driver Fatigue : Continuous concentration over long drives can lead to driver fatigue, a leading cause of road accidents. Cruise control allows drivers to maintain a constant speed without constant pedal adjustment, reducing the physical and mental strain during long journeys.

Improved Fuel Efficiency : By maintaining a steady speed, cruise control helps in reducing fuel consumption. Studies have shown that erratic speed variations can lead to higher fuel consumption, whereas maintaining a consistent speed optimizes fuel efficiency.

Safety Statistics : Research indicates that the use of cruise control can lead to a reduction in speed-related accidents. However, it’s crucial to note that over-reliance on cruise control in inappropriate conditions (like city driving or in heavy traffic) can negate these safety benefits.

Impact on Traffic Flow : When used widely, cruise control can contribute to smoother traffic flow on highways. Consistent speeds help in reducing the frequency of braking and acceleration among vehicles, leading to less congestion and smoother traffic movement.

It’s important to balance the use of cruise control with active driving engagement, ensuring that safety is always the top priority.

For a deeper understanding of cruise control and its various aspects, it’s always beneficial to refer to your vehicle’s manual and seek guidance from automotive professionals.

Was this page helpful?

  • Understanding Cruise Control
  • What is Cruise Control?
  • Types of Cruise Control
  • Operating Cruise Control
  • Safety Tips
  • Advanced Features
  • Troubleshooting Common Issues
  • Comparative Analysis of Modern Cruise Control Systems
  • Real-World Impact
  • What's My Car Worth?
  • Buyer's Guide

How to Use Cruise Control Safely

Everything you need to know for safe, stress-free driving with your car's cruise-control system.

clock, font, icon, circle, illustration, logo, stopwatch, home accessories, symbol, graphic design,

Its Job Is to Maintain Speed

Cruise control's primary function is to maintain the speed of your choosing, relieving you of needing to keep your foot on the throttle. Virtually all cars on the road today rely on an electronic control module—a computer—to monitor the vehicle's speed and to readjust it as needed to hold the speed you've chosen regardless of the road's gradient.

 

Know the Controls

You operate cruise control by either a stalk on the steering column or several buttons on the steering wheel. These include an on-off switch; a "set" button to select the speed you want the car to maintain; and buttons or switches marked "+" and "—" that increase or decrease the speed after it has been set, often in 1-mph increments. A "cancel" button disengages the cruise-control system without shutting it off entirely, allowing the car to coast. (Cars with stalk-operated cruise control have a "cancel" position that you move the stalk to in order to disengage the system.) A "resume" function or button brings the car back to its previously set speed. Braking or depressing the clutch at any time will also cancel cruise control. Should you need to make a quick pass, you can always override the preset speed by simply pressing down further on the gas pedal.

Adaptive Cruise's Added Features

Many newer cars offer what's known as adaptive cruise control, sometimes also called active cruise. It works in the same way as conventional cruise systems and additionally relies on front-mounted radar , cameras, or sensors to detect the presence of vehicles directly ahead in your lane. This enables adaptive cruise-control systems to maintain a set distance from the vehicle in front no matter how it varies its speed.

Adaptive systems allow you to adjust how closely your vehicle follows the one ahead but are programmed so that they always maintain at least a safe minimum following distance. Some of these systems also have the ability to brake and even come to a complete stop in city traffic and, depending on the vehicle, automatically accelerate without the driver pressing the gas pedal when traffic starts to move again.

Semi-Autonomous Cruise Control

Finally, the newest, most advanced cruise control systems, such as such as Nissan ProPilot Assist, Subaru EyeSight, and Audi Traffic Jam Assist, are semi-automated driving assistants that combine adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist, which self-steers the car gently to keep it in lane if you let it wander out—although you can only take your hands off the wheel for a few seconds before the system sounds alarms and then shuts off.

.css-1rvrtxn{font-family:Gliko,Gliko-fallback,Gliko-roboto,Gliko-local,Georgia,Times,Serif;font-size:1.625rem;line-height:1.2;margin:0rem;-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;text-decoration-color:#DBCA8B;text-decoration-thickness:0.25rem;}@media(max-width: 48rem){.css-1rvrtxn{font-size:2.25rem;line-height:1.1;}}@media(min-width: 48rem){.css-1rvrtxn{font-size:2.625rem;line-height:1.1;}}@media(min-width: 64rem){.css-1rvrtxn{font-size:3rem;line-height:1.1;}}.css-1rvrtxn b,.css-1rvrtxn strong{font-family:inherit;font-weight:bold;}.css-1rvrtxn em,.css-1rvrtxn i{font-style:italic;font-family:inherit;} No matter what type of cruise control your car has, the rules for using it safely are the same.

Most of these systems also can autonomously negotiate only the most gentle curves on the interstate. Some semi-autonomous systems, such as those from Tesla and Mercedes-Benz , can do more, including steering the car into the adjacent lane while keeping enough distance from other cars.

Follow These Safety Rules

No matter which type of cruise control your car has, the guidelines for using it effectively and safely are the same:

  • Always remain alert and aware of other traffic, and be ready to take control and brake or steer around obstacles, inattentive drivers, or emergency situations.
  • Think of even the most advanced adaptive and semi-autonomous cruise control systems as "dumb." They are programmed by humans and may react unpredictably in certain, unforeseen conditions. (See previous point: "remain alert.") Rain, snow, and fog can obscure radar signals and confuse cameras or sensors, sometimes disabling adaptive cruise control entirely. As with conventional cruise control, with an advanced cruise system you must always be prepared to take full control at a moment's notice.
  • Cruise control is still best suited for use on highways and in light traffic. If your vehicle has conventional (not adaptive) cruise control, be sure to leave adequate spacing between your car and those ahead, and be prepared to disengage the system by braking or tapping "cancel" as you creep up on other vehicles or get into heavy traffic.
  • Do not use cruise control in slippery conditions, including snowy or icy roads or rain-soaked roads awash in deep puddles. Most cruise systems will attempt to maintain your speed until you intervene, and on slippery roads that could cause you to momentarily lose traction, upsetting the car and potentially precipitating an accident.

Treat cruise control as a simple labor-saving convenience, however—but one that must be monitored—and you'll enjoy many miles of comfortable, stress-free travel.

Headshot of Clifford Atiyeh

Clifford Atiyeh is a reporter and photographer for Car and Driver , specializing in business, government, and litigation news. He is president of the New England Motor Press Association and committed to saving both manuals and old Volvos.

preview for HDM All sections playlist - Car & Driver US:

.css-190qir1:before{background-color:#000000;color:#fff;left:0;width:50%;border:0 solid transparent;bottom:48%;height:0.125rem;content:'';position:absolute;z-index:-10;} Features .css-188buow:after{background-color:#000000;color:#fff;right:0;width:50%;border:0 solid transparent;bottom:48%;height:0.125rem;content:'';position:absolute;z-index:-10;}

2024 toyota prius

Kaido Run Brings Japan Car Culture to Canada

a red car on a road

How Honda Got Its Signature Red

a blue car parked next to a red truck

Inside the Avants Weird and Wacky Car Show

1987 lamborghini lm002

The Loudest Cars We've Ever Tested

2022 jeep gladiator vs 2023 gmc canyon at4

Would You Rather: Jeep Gladiator vs. GMC Canyon

2024 editors' choice winners collage

2024 Editors' Choice: Best New Cars, Trucks, SUVs

history of cadillac v

A Brief History of Cadillac's High Performance V

Best Selling Car the Year You Graduated

The Best-Selling Car the Year You Graduated

bmw behind the scenes

'BMW Behind The Scenes' Three-Volume Set Reviewed

genesis gv60 vs infiniti qx60

Would You Rather: Genesis GV60 vs. Infiniti QX60

2024 volkswagen atlas

Crossovers and SUVs, Ranked by Cargo Capacity

Cruise Control In Cars Explained (And How To Safely Use It)

cruise control features

Have you ever wished you could set your car's speed and just sit back and relax while driving on a long stretch of highway? If that's the case, then cruise control is just the ticket you've been searching for—and the good news is, it's a standard feature in most cars these days!

Cruise control is a handy feature for drivers that allows you to maintain a constant speed without having to keep your foot on the gas pedal. In this post, we'll explore how cruise control works, its benefits, and how to use it safely to make your driving experience more comfortable.

Understanding Cruise Control

Cruise control, also known as speed control, is an electronic system that allows you to maintain a specific speed without manually controlling the accelerator pedal. The system uses sensors and electronic components to control the throttle and keep your car moving at a desired speed. First introduced in the late 1950s, cruise control has since become a standard feature in most modern vehicles you see on the road today.

How Does It Work?

At its core, cruise control involves a series of sensors that monitor the vehicle's speed and a control unit that regulates the throttle. When the driver sets the cruise control to a specific speed, the system adjusts the throttle to maintain that speed. If the car begins to slow down because of an incline (e.g. going up a hill), the system will open the throttle to accelerate. Conversely, if the car starts to speed up due to a declin (e.g. going downhill), the system will close the throttle to decelerate.

Modern cruise control systems also come with additional features like adaptive cruise control (ACC), which uses radar or cameras to detect vehicles ahead and automatically adjusts the speed to maintain a safe following distance (more on this BELOW).

The History of Cruise Control

The invention of cruise control can be traced back to the late 1940s and early 1950s, when engineer Ralph Teetor developed the first-speed control system. This innovative feature was designed to help drivers maintain a steady speed, reduce fatigue while driving, and improve fuel efficiency. Over the years, cruise control technology has undergone significant advancements, leading to the development of sophisticated systems like adaptive cruise control.

Types of Cruise Control Systems

Today, drivers can choose from a range of cruise control systems, each with its own unique features and functionalities.

Conventional Cruise Control

Conventional cruise control is like your old reliable friend. It's pretty basic and doesn't have any fancy bells and whistles. You just set the speed you want, and it'll keep your car cruising along at that speed, no problem. It's perfect for those long drives on open highways, but it doesn’t automatically react to other cars on the road.

So, if the car in front of you slows down, you'll need to step in and adjust your speed manually. This trusty system comes standard on most cars and is great for saving some fuel on those long road trips .

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)

Now, if conventional cruise control is your old reliable friend, then Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is like that friend's tech-savvy younger cousin. ACC isn't just maintaining your set speed, it's also keeping an eye on the car in front of you. If that car slows down, ACC slows your car down to keep a safe distance .

It's like having an extra set of eyes on the road, making highway driving a breeze. Plus, some ACC systems can even handle stop-and-go traffic, bringing your car to a full stop and then picking up speed again when traffic gets moving.

Predictive Cruise Control

Predictive Cruise Control is like the fortune teller of cruise control systems. It uses GPS and map data to see into the future and predict what's coming up on the road, like hills or curves, and adjusts your speed accordingly. This means you get a smoother ride and better fuel efficiency, but it all depends on the quality of the GPS and map data. If that's a bit out of date, your fortune-telling cruise control might not be so accurate. It's usually found in more high-end vehicles where top-notch fuel efficiency is a focus for the engineers.

Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC)

And then we have Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control, or CACC. This is like the team player of cruise control systems. It allows cars to talk to each other, coordinating their speeds to maintain a safe distance. It's like having a well-coordinated team of cars all working together to make the traffic flow smoother and reduce congestion. Picture it like a synchronized dance on the highway, where every car knows its place and keeps the right distance. This tech is still pretty new, but it's got a lot of potential. Imagine a future where traffic jams could be a thing of the past.

Remember, these systems are here to make your drive smoother and safer, but they're not a replacement for your attention. No matter how fancy your cruise control is, these systems can be greatly influenced by external conditions like weather and traffic, and they should always be used as aids, not replacements, for attentive driving.

Common Cruise Control Symbols and Indicators

Understanding the various symbols and indicators associated with cruise control is important for safe and effective usage. These symbols typically appear on the dashboard (or on the side of the steering wheel) and may include a speedometer icon, "SET," "RES" (resume), and "CANCEL". Be sure to consult your vehicle's owner's manual for specific details and explanations of these symbols.

Benefits of Using Cruise Control

Cruise control offers several benefits to drivers, especially during long road trips or highway driving.

Fuel Efficiency

One of the main advantages of using cruise control is improved fuel efficiency. By maintaining a constant speed, cruise control helps reduce fuel consumption, leading to better gas mileage. Rapid acceleration and deceleration, on the other hand, can lead to increased fuel consumption.

Comfort and Convenience

Cruise control allows drivers to take their foot off the accelerator pedal, reducing fatigue and improving comfort during long drives. It also helps drivers avoid unintentionally exceeding the speed limit by setting a maximum speed.

When used correctly, cruise control can contribute to safer driving. By maintaining a steady speed, it reduces the likelihood of erratic driving behavior and potential accidents. However, it is important to note that cruise control shouldn't be used in certain conditions, such as heavy traffic or slippery roads .

Troubleshooting Common Cruise Control Issues

Occasionally, you may encounter issues with your cruise control systems. Common problems include cruise control not engaging or disengaging unexpectedly. Possible causes may include a faulty brake light switch, malfunctioning sensors, or issues with the control module. If you experience any problems with your cruise control, it's best to have a qualified technician diagnose and repair the issue for you.

Cruise Control and Road Etiquette

Practicing proper road etiquette while using cruise control is essential for a safe and pleasant driving experience. Here are some tips on how to use cruise control courteously:

  • Avoid using cruise control in heavy or congested traffic, as it may hinder your ability to react quickly to changing conditions.
  • Be mindful of other drivers when setting your speed. Avoid setting a speed that's significantly slower or faster than the flow of traffic.
  • If you are in the passing lane and using cruise control, be sure to adjust your speed or temporarily disengage the system to allow faster-moving vehicles to pass.
  • Always signal your intentions, such as lane changes or exiting the highway, even when using cruise control.

The Future of Cruise Control Technology

Cruise control technology plays a vital role in the development of autonomous vehicles, or self-driving cars . In autonomous vehicles, cruise control systems work together with other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to enable the vehicle to operate without direct driver input. These systems include lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and collision avoidance systems.

As autonomous vehicles become more sophisticated, cruise control technology is evolving to support higher levels of automation. For example, some autonomous vehicles are equipped with advanced cruise control systems that can navigate complex traffic scenarios, merge onto highways, and even change lanes autonomously.

While fully autonomous vehicles are still in the developmental stages, the integration of cruise control technology is a big step toward creating safer and more efficient transportation systems.

As automotive tech continues to advance, cruise control systems are becoming more intelligent and capable. Here are some potential developments we can expect to see in the future of cruise control technology:

  • Integration of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve decision-making and responsiveness in adaptive cruise control systems.
  • Enhanced connectivity and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, enabling cars to share information about traffic conditions and coordinate their speeds for smoother traffic flow.
  • Greater customization and personalization options, allowing drivers to set preferences for cruise control behavior, such as following distance and speed adjustments.

Overall, the future of cruise control technology holds promise for creating a more seamless and enjoyable driving experience, with a focus on safety, comfort, and sustainability.

Debunking Myths About Cruise Control

Let's address and debunk some common misconceptions about cruise control:

Myth : Cruise control can be used as a substitute for driver attention.

Fact : Cruise control is a driver assistance feature, not a replacement for attentive driving. Drivers should always remain alert and ready to take control when necessary.

Myth : Cruise control increases the risk of accidents.

Fact : When used appropriately, cruise control can contribute to safer driving by maintaining a steady speed and reducing erratic driving behavior.

Cruise control is a valuable feature that can enhance your driving experience by providing comfort, convenience, and fuel efficiency. Remember to use it safely and appropriately based on driving conditions, and always stay attentive while on the road.

If you found this post informative and want to learn more about car features, driving tips, and automotive technology, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for regular updates. We're here to help you stay informed and enhance your driving experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cruise Control

To further enhance your understanding of cruise control, here are answers to some common questions:

Q : Can cruise control be used in all weather conditions?

A : It isn't advisable to use cruise control in adverse weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or icy roads, as it may reduce your ability to respond quickly to changing road conditions.

Q : Can I use cruise control in urban areas with frequent stop-and-go traffic?

A : Cruise control is best suited for open roads and highways with consistent traffic flow. It isn't recommended for use in urban areas with frequent stops or heavy traffic.

Q : Does cruise control work at any speed?

A : Cruise control typically has a minimum speed threshold, below which it can't be engaged. This threshold varies by vehicle, so check your owner's manual for specific information.

About the Author: This article was crafted by the LOOP Marketing Team. Comprising of seasoned professionals with expertise in the insurance industry, our team is dedicated to providing readers with accurate, up-to-date, and valuable information. At LOOP, we're passionate about helping families navigate the world of car insurance, ensuring they get the best coverage at the most affordable rates. Learn more about our mission and values here.

For more insights on auto insurance and other related topics, visit our blog .

Quick Navigation

Check out how much you could save today.

Browse related articles

cruise control features

The Real Dangers Of Texting And Driving

cruise control features

Are Dash Cams Worth Buying?

cruise control features

When Should You Trade In Your Car?

Life has many roads. your weekly navigator is just a click away..

  • PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game New
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Cars & Other Vehicles
  • Driving Vehicles
  • Efficient Driving

How to Use Cruise Control on a Car

Last Updated: March 16, 2021 Approved

This article was co-authored by Simon Miyerov . Simon Miyerov is the President and Driving Instructor for Drive Rite Academy, a driving academy based out of New York City. Simon has over 8 years of driving instruction experience. His mission is to ensure the safety of everyday drivers and continue to make New York a safer and efficient driving environment. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 472,184 times.

Many cars come with cruise control systems, a great feature that will automatically keep a car driving at a set speed. This gives your feet a rest, and helps you save gas and avoid speeding tickets. Familiarize yourself with your car's cruise control switches, located on or near the steering wheel. Make sure to use cruise control only in safe conditions, and to stay focused on the road. Once you know how to operate cruise control, you're ready for a comfortable, efficient drive!

Get Car Support Chat with wikiHow AI

wH

We’re sorry we don’t support the car you are looking for. Please enter its make, model, and year below so that we can add support for it.

Operating Cruise Control

Step 1 Locate your car's cruise control switches.

  • Check your car's operating manual if you are unable to find the cruise control switches.

Step 2 Study the layout of the switches.

  • Many cars have additional buttons to increase or decrease speed (marked by a +/-) when using cruise control.

Step 3 Drive your car until you reach your desired speed and hit “SET.”

  • For some car models, cruise control will not operate below a certain speed, such as 40 miles (64 km) per hour.

Step 4 Stop cruise control whenever you need to.

  • To stop cruise control briefly (such as when a car in front of you brakes), just press the brake as you normally would.
  • If you are driving a manual, you can also disengage cruise control by pressing the clutch.
  • If you are completely done using cruise control, you can press the “OFF” or "ON/OFF" switch.
  • If your car has a cruise control “CANCEL” switch, you can also press that to stop it.

Step 5 Resume cruise control, if you want.

  • If your car has a +/- button for cruise control, press this when you want to raise or lower your car's speed.

Using Cruise Control Safely and Efficiently

Step 1 Reserve cruise control for the open road.

  • Using cruise control on busy streets can also be dangerous. Since you yourself are not in complete control of your car, you may be paying less attention. You might brake or react to other cars more slowly than normal, increasing the chance of an accident.

Step 2 Avoid using cruise control in hazardous conditions.

  • Wet or snowy roads
  • Hilly, steep, or mountainous areas
  • Winding roads

Step 3 Stay focused on the road.

Video . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

You Might Also Like

Calculate Fuel Consumption

Expert Q&A

Simon Miyerov

  • ↑ Simon Miyerov. Driving Instructor. Expert Interview. 4 December 2019.
  • ↑ http://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/cruise-control/

About This Article

Simon Miyerov

If you want to use cruise control on your car, make sure you're on the open road, such as a freeway or highway. Additionally, avoid using cruise control in rainy or snowy conditions, or if you're driving through a city, since you'll need to change speed and turn regularly. When you're ready to switch to cruise control, press the "Set" switch, which is usually found on the steering column or on the wheel, when your car reaches the desired speed. To stop cruise control, press on the brake or push the clutch if you're driving a manual car. To learn when to avoid using cruise control and how it can help you save on fuel, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Joseph Adizero

Joseph Adizero

Dec 17, 2020

Did this article help you?

cruise control features

Suraj Sinha

Jun 17, 2016

Ashish Vohra

Ashish Vohra

Oct 17, 2017

Elvis Fon

Jul 26, 2017

Alejandro Martinez

Alejandro Martinez

Jul 25, 2016

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

10+ Cute, Fun and Unique Ways to Ask Out Your Crush

Trending Articles

Am I a Good Kisser Quiz

Watch Articles

Cook Fresh Cauliflower

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

wikiHow Tech Help Pro:

Level up your tech skills and stay ahead of the curve

Off-Road Review: 2024 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro

Koenigsegg aims for 499-km/h record to topple bugatti, ford cutting little-used vehicle features to save money, chevrolet, gmc pickups recalled for tailgates falling open, super bowl 58: the car ads of the big game in 2024, what is cruise control a comprehensive guide.

When the system is set, cruise control will maintain a steady speed for your vehicle

Article content

Your vehicle’s cruise control system unlocks numerous benefits at the touch of a button — but according to web search data, drivers still have plenty of questions about what it is, what it does, and how it works.

What is Cruise Control? A Comprehensive Guide Back to video

Below, we’ll answer some of the most popular Internet search questions about cruise control, so you can make the best use of this important system.

What is Cruise Control?

With cruise control, your vehicle will maintain a steady speed when the system is set.

What is adaptive cruise control?

With adaptive cruise control, the vehicle will also automatically slow down and speed up to maintain a safe position in traffic.

How does cruise control work?

Cruise control work with a manual transmission just the same way it does with an automatic.  Drivers set their cruising speed with a button press, and the system works the throttle automatically to maintain the desired cruising speed as evenly as possible. In some vehicles with a manual transmission, pressing the clutch pedal to shift gears turns the cruise control off, requiring an additional button press to reengage it after a gear change.

In other cars with a manual transmission, pressing the clutch pedal simply pauses the cruise control system a moment, allowing drivers to complete their gearshift. When they’ve released the clutch, the cruise control picks up where it left off — no additional button press required.

Is cruise control more fuel efficient?

Yes.  Increasing your vehicle’s speed uses fuel. While cruising, even a highly competent driver who isn’t using cruise control will tend to slow down and speed up in a repeated cycle, possibly several times per minute. Though fluctuations in speed may be slight, they do cause your engine to use more fuel than required. Point is, the more time you spend at a steady speed, the less fuel your engine needs.

For most drivers, using cruise control on the highway at 80 km/h can reduce fuel consumption by about 20 per cent. For drivers who find difficulty in maintaining a steady speed and frequently experience big fluctuations, using cruise control can cut fuel use by over 40 per cent.

Depending on what you drive and how fast you drive it, using cruise control could save you between $4 and $20 per hour — based on information from Natural Resources Canada that shows most drivers who don’t use cruise control on the highway will tend to experience a 10 km/h speed fluctuation about three times per minute.

Drivers who have the most difficulty managing their cruising speed could be using 60 per cent more fuel than they need to.

Is cruise control bad for your transmission?

No.  Your vehicle’s engine, transmission and other components are designed to work hand-in-hand with its cruise control system and are extensively tested and integrated with one another for trouble-free performance.

Using cruise control also reduces wear and tear on both your engine and transmission by running things more smoothly and steadily, and reducing workload on both components.

Can you add cruise control to a car?

Yes.  Depending on the year, make and model, cruise control may be available for add-on or retrofit. Professional installation is recommended, and you’ll want to talk to a professional about the specific availability of parts and integration for your vehicle.

In many cases with modern cars, it’s generally easier and more cost effective to just opt for a unit equipped with cruise control from the factory. Cruise control is widely available as standard equipment on most modern vehicles.

Can cruise control get stuck?

Yes , but it’s extremely rare. Older cable-based cruise control systems seem more prone to this rare problem, in which the cable can slip or bind, making the throttle stick into position. More modern vehicles with electronic throttle and monitoring systems make this problem even less likely.

If the cruise control on your car fails to disengage when you want to slow down, slip the vehicle into neutral to disconnect drive power from the wheels, pull over, and address the situation.

However, chances are, you’ll never experience this problem.

When should cruise control be used?

Any time you’re trying to drive at a constant speed.  Whether around town at 60 km/h, in a residential area at 40 km/h, or out on the highway at 105 km/h, switching the cruise control on makes for a smoother and more fuel efficient drive that’s easier on your engine and transmission. it can also help you do your part to maintain the steady and efficient flow of traffic.

Most cruise control systems can be engaged at speeds above 30 km/h.

When should cruise control not be used?

Any time you can’t safely drive at a steady speed.  If the road surface is snowy, icy, slushy or very wet, you’ll want to think twice about switching your cruise control on.

In older cars, having your cruise control engaged on a wet or icy road could allow the vehicle to accelerate or experience wheelspin when driven wheels encounter a low-traction surface. Here, the cruise control system maintains throttle pressure, even in situations where it should be released instead. This could lead to a loss of control.

In more modern vehicles, electronic monitoring is used to automatically disengage cruise control when one of the following happens:

  • one or more wheels slip
  • one or more wheels leave the surface of the road after a major bump or dip
  • the wipers are set to the maximum speed setting in heavy rain

Use your judgement. Safely navigating certain slippery or dangerous driving conditions requires careful manual control of your vehicle’s throttle, and in these situations, you’re best to leave the cruise control off.

What causes cruise control to kick off?

If the cruise control in your vehicle suddenly kicks off, a few things may be to blame.

Sometimes, cruise control disengages automatically when the vehicle’s automatic wipers detect heavy rainfall, or when a wheel spins or (briefly) leaves the surface of the road after a big bump or dip. In other situations, there may be a problem with one or more sensors or switches, including the brake pedal switch, throttle position sensor, or one or more wheel speed sensors.

Your modern cruise control system relies on various sensors and switches to do its job properly. As a failsafe, any problem with these sensors can cause the cruise control system to go offline. If you notice this happening regularly, have your vehicle diagnosed by a professional.

Will the cruise control work with an ABS light on?

Probably not.  Your car’s Antilock Braking System works hand-in-hand with your cruise control system, and any fault with the ABS system will typically take your cruise control offline until it’s fixed.

An ABS warning light in your instrument cluster can indicate one of several major problems or malfunctions, so be sure to have a professional investigate as quickly as possible.

Will cruise control apply the brakes?

No, but adaptive cruise control will.  Standard cruise control (simply called cruise control) holds your vehicle’s speed as constant as possible once set. More advanced adaptive cruise control systems use camera or radar-based sensing to determine the traffic situation in front of your vehicle, and can automatically apply the brakes to maintain a pre-set following distance.

With cruise control, drivers need to brake to slow down as they close in on a slower vehicle in traffic. With adaptive cruise control, the system makes these braking inputs automatically, and the vehicle speeds back up to its pre-set cruising speed once traffic clears.

Before you buy, be sure to determine which type of cruise control system is fitted to the car you’re considering.

What is Super Cruise?

Super Cruise is a next-level driver assistance feature available on certain GM vehicles.

With Super Cruise, the vehicle uses special GPS hardware and sensors to accurately compare its position to a 3D map of pre-qualified highways .

On these pre-qualified highways, Super Cruise allows drivers to go hands-free for extended periods as the vehicle automatically maintains its cruising speed, adjusts that speed for changing traffic conditions, and even precisely follows the curves in the road. It can even make hands-free lane changes.

Super Cruise is not an autonomous system, and in order for it to work, drivers need to keep their eyes on the road — there’s even a camera that monitors the position of the driver’s eyes to make sure they’re focused on the road ahead.

  • 12 things to know about the 2025 Ram 1500 Ramcharger REx
  • Ministry of Interior Affairs: How the Range Rover Sport SV's seats vibrate to your music
  • The Trust of a Friend: Road-tripping 5,000 km in a borrowed '92 Acura NSX
  • The Porsche 968 Convertible shows ‘better’ isn’t necessarily worse
  • Drive Your Heroes: Porsche Number 1

Justin Pritchard

Justin Pritchard is an experienced motoring expert whose work is read and watched by Canadians across the country on a weekly basis. Starting his career at Auto123.com back in 2005 (while finishing his final year of studies at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario), Justin quickly applied his passion for writing, presenting, and photography, working under some of the most recognized editors in the Canadian motoring scene.

Justin has written one of the largest collections of used car buyer guides on the internet, and his TV program, AutoPilot, has aired over 600 episodes across 16 seasons. Presently, AutoPilot is the only English-language motoring program on Canadian cable TV, though he's lent his informative style and easy-to-identify voice to video features for Youtube, Driving.ca, Autotrader.ca, Motoring TV, and elsewhere. With 4 years as co-chair of the Canadian Car of the Year Awards (CCOTY) program, a passion for vehicle testing shines though in all of his work.

A passion for photography from a young age makes Justin as comfortable behind the camera as in front of it, and capturing motoring memories from the scenery of beautiful Northern Ontario is a priority in much of his work. The particularly harsh winter climate in this part of Canada makes Justin a particular expert on winter driving, winter tires, and extreme-weather safety.

Major awards won by the author

Contact info.

Youtube: @JustinPritchard

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings .

Affordable EVs

Small trucks

Popular Crossover SUVs

Practical 3-row SUVs

Minivans for the whole family

Compact Cars

Luxury SUVs

Affordable AWD SUVs

All things automotive: breaking news, reviews and more. Wednesdays and Saturdays.

  • There was an error, please provide a valid email address.

A welcome email is on its way. If you don't see it, please check your junk folder.

The next issue of Driving.ca's Blind-Spot Monitor will soon be in your inbox.

We encountered an issue signing you up. Please try again

This website uses cookies to personalize your content (including ads), and allows us to analyze our traffic. Read more about cookies here . By continuing to use our site, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy .

Edit your picks to remove vehicles if you want to add different ones.

You can only add up to 5 vehicles to your picks.

CarElectronix

What is Cruise Control and How Does it Function in a Car?

What is Cruise Control and How Does it Function in a Car?

A Quick Overview

Driving on long stretches of highway can be tiring, especially when trying to maintain a constant speed. Cruise control alleviates this by allowing drivers to set and maintain a desired speed without continuous use of the accelerator pedal. Understanding how cruise control functions can help drivers make the most of this convenient feature.

What is Cruise Control?

Cruise control is an automotive feature that enables drivers to set a desired speed for their vehicle. Once activated, the cruise control system maintains the set speed without the need for constant pedal input. It helps drivers maintain a steady pace on long trips, providing convenience and reducing the likelihood of unintentional speed fluctuations.

How Does Cruise Control Function?

Cruise control systems may vary slightly among different vehicle models, but they generally function using the following components and controls:

1. Set Button

To activate cruise control, the driver typically presses a “Set” button or engages a switch on the steering wheel or dashboard. This action captures the current speed of the vehicle and sets it as the target speed for the cruise control system to maintain.

2. Speed Control

Once the cruise control system is activated, the driver can adjust the speed using speed control buttons. These buttons allow the driver to increase or decrease the set speed in small increments. By pressing the appropriate button, the driver can fine-tune the desired speed for their comfort and road conditions.

3. Resume Button

The “Resume” button, also known as the “Accel” button, allows the driver to restore the previously set speed after it has been canceled or temporarily interrupted. When the driver presses the “Resume” button, the cruise control system accelerates the vehicle to the previously set speed.

4. Cancel Button

The “Cancel” button, often marked with the symbol “CRUISE” or “OFF,” deactivates the cruise control system. Pressing this button disengages the system and allows the driver to regain full control over acceleration and braking. It is important to note that the brake pedal can also automatically deactivate cruise control when pressed.

Advantages of Cruise Control

Cruise control offers several advantages to drivers:

  • Reduced Driver Fatigue: Cruise control allows drivers to maintain a steady speed without continuously pressing the accelerator pedal, reducing fatigue on long drives.
  • Improved Fuel Efficiency: By maintaining a consistent speed, cruise control can help optimize fuel efficiency by reducing unnecessary acceleration and deceleration.
  • Avoiding Speeding: Cruise control helps drivers adhere to speed limits by maintaining a set speed, preventing unintentional speeding due to variations in foot pressure on the accelerator pedal.

Limitations of Cruise Control

While cruise control provides convenience, there are limitations to consider:

  • Traffic and Safety: Cruise control should be used only in appropriate situations. It is important to remain vigilant and be ready to take control of the vehicle when necessary, such as in heavy traffic or hazardous road conditions.
  • Hilly Terrain: Cruise control may struggle to maintain a constant speed on hilly terrain, as it cannot anticipate changes in elevation. In such situations, the driver may need to manually intervene and adjust the speed accordingly.

👉 You may also like - A Deep Dive into the Adaptive Cruise Control System. What Is It?

What is cruise control?

Cruise control is a technology in cars that allows drivers to maintain a constant speed without keeping their foot on the accelerator. The feature is commonly used during long drives on highways or other open roads.

How does cruise control work?

When cruise control is activated, the driver sets a desired speed for the car to maintain. The car’s engine and transmission work together to maintain that speed without any input from the driver.

Is it safe to use cruise control while driving?

Yes, cruise control is generally safe to use while driving. However, drivers should remain attentive and ready to take control of the car at any moment. It’s also important to note that cruise control should not be used in hazardous weather or road conditions.

What are the benefits of using cruise control?

Using cruise control can improve fuel efficiency by helping drivers maintain a consistent speed and reduce unnecessary acceleration. It can also reduce driver fatigue during long drives by allowing them to rest their feet.

Can all cars have cruise control installed?

Not all cars come with cruise control as a standard feature, but many newer cars do have this option available. Additionally, aftermarket cruise control systems can be installed on most cars.

Can cruise control be dangerous?

Cruise control can become dangerous if the driver becomes too reliant on it and fails to remain attentive. Additionally, using cruise control in hazardous conditions, such as heavy traffic or inclement weather, can be dangerous.

Does cruise control work on manual transmission cars?

Cruise control can be installed on manual transmission cars, but it requires a more advanced system than the one used for automatic transmissions. Manual transmission cruise control systems are typically more expensive and less common.

Is Bypassing the Crank Position Sensor Possible? Here's How

Is Bypassing the Crank Position Sensor Possible? Here's How

A guide to wiring 1, 2, 3, 4 wire oxygen sensors. detailed diagrams.

A Guide to Wiring 1, 2, 3, 4 Wire Oxygen Sensors. Detailed Diagrams

Mastering ASE Testing - The Ultimate Guide for Success

Keeping Current - Charging System Diagnosis and Repair

Keeping Current - Charging System Diagnosis and Repair

The complete ASE practice test with answers and explanations

The complete ASE practice test with answers and explanations

Enhancing the Ride - Accessories Diagnosis and Repair

Enhancing the Ride - Accessories Diagnosis and Repair

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by consumers.

The payment for your account couldn't be processed or you've canceled your account with us.

We don’t recognize that sign in. Your username maybe be your email address. Passwords are 6-20 characters with at least one number and letter.

We still don’t recognize that sign in. Retrieve your username. Reset your password.

Forgot your username or password ?

Don’t have an account?

  • Account Settings
  • My Benefits
  • My Products
  • Donate Donate

Save products you love, products you own and much more!

Other Membership Benefits:

Suggested Searches

  • Become a Member

Car Ratings & Reviews

Car Reliability Guide

Car Buying & Pricing

Which Car Brands Make the Best Vehicles?

Car Maintenance & Repair

The Cost of Car Ownership Over Time

Key Topics & News

Listen to the Talking Cars Podcast

Home & Garden

Bed & Bath

Top Picks From CR

Best Mattresses

Lawn & Garden

TOP PICKS FROM CR

Best Snow Blowers

Home Improvement

Home Improvement Essential

Best Wood Stains

Home Safety & Security

HOME SAFETY

Best DIY Home Security Systems

REPAIR OR REPLACE?

What to Do With a Broken Appliance

Small Appliances

Best Small Kitchen Appliances

Laundry & Cleaning

Best Washing Machines

Heating, Cooling & Air

Best Air Purifiers

Electronics

Home Entertainment

FIND YOUR NEW TV

Home Office

Cheapest Printers for Ink Costs

Smartphones & Wearables

BEST SMARTPHONES

Find the Right Phone for You

Digital Security & Privacy

MEMBER BENEFIT

CR Security Planner

Take Action

Guide to Adaptive Cruise Control

How this convenience feature works to reduce your stress on long drives

Illustration of a car safety system

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is like traditional cruise control, but smarter. ACC systems allow you to set a desired speed until your vehicle encounters slower-moving traffic. Then it will brake to maintain a set distance from the car ahead. Once the traffic starts moving again or if there is no longer a car in the lane ahead, ACC will accelerate to resume the previous set speed. Although ACC systems may take some getting used to, our survey respondents told us they appreciated the stress relief the feature brings.

“I use the feature mostly on the freeway and in stop-and-go traffic. I find it reduces tension and fatigue,” wrote a 2020 Subaru Outback owner. A 2018 Audi Q5 driver agreed. “It is so nice to just set it and let the car worry about the traffic,” they told CR.

The systems use lasers, radar, cameras, or a combination of those. If traffic slows to a stop, most ACC systems will bring the car to a complete stop, then bring it back up to speed when traffic gets going again. Others work only within certain speeds and/or might not start to accelerate automatically.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC): Cruise control that also assists with acceleration and/or braking to maintain a driver-selected gap to the vehicle in front. Some systems can come to a stop and continue while others cannot. If the car comes to a full stop, you may have to press the accelerator or a button on the steering wheel to start moving again.

Not all systems work at low speeds, so drivers who plan to use ACC in slow traffic should check the limitations of any system they plan to buy. These particular systems will often have the words “traffic jam” or “stop and go” in their name.

These features are usually activated using a button on the steering wheel with the image of a car next to a speedometer with an arrow pointing at it. A conventional cruise control system does not automatically keep a set distance away from the car in front, and it is indicated by a similar logo without the car next to the speedometer. A tip to know if your car has adaptive cruise control or regular cruise control is to look for the “gap distance” button, which usually shows a symbol of a car with horizontal distance bars in front. This button will determine how much space your car leaves between its front bumper and the rear of the car it is following.

In our most recent survey, we asked CR members to rate their experiences with the advanced safety and driver assistance systems on their model-year 2017 to 2022 cars. Respondents answered questions about their satisfaction with the systems. The survey covered about 47,000 vehicles. Most respondents told us they were “very satisfied” with ACC. Satisfaction was higher for older drivers.

OVERALL SATISFACTION

What to Look For in an Adaptive Cruise Control System

Every ACC system works slightly differently, says Kelly Funkhouser, manager for vehicle technology at CR. Some do a better job than others at recognizing merging traffic and automatically apply the brakes, while others wait too long to slow your car, requiring the driver to take control—especially when a vehicle in front of you cuts you off with a close merge.

“Most ACC systems can only be set to speeds above 20 mph but will slow the vehicle to speeds below that in stop-and-go traffic,” she says. “There are a few systems out there that don’t bring the car all the way to a stop but instead just shut off at low speeds. That can be dangerous when you’re traveling behind another slowing vehicle.” She recommends reading the automaker’s website closely and learning about the speed ranges before using ACC while on your test drive.

ACC is meant for convenience, not as a replacement for an alert driver, Funkhouser says. So don’t use adaptive cruise control as an excuse to get distracted. “Just because the car is controlling your speed doesn’t mean that you can check out,” she says. “These systems do not do well at detecting or slowing for vehicles ahead if you approach them at a high rate of speed. The driver should always be monitoring the surrounding traffic and looking ahead for potential hazards.”

Keith Barry

Keith Barry has been an auto reporter at Consumer Reports since 2018. He focuses on safety, technology, and the environmental impact of cars. Previously, he led home and appliance coverage at Reviewed; reported on cars for USA Today, Wired, and Car & Driver; and wrote for other publications as well. Keith earned a master’s degree in public health from Tufts University. Follow him on Twitter @itskeithbarry .

Sharing is Nice

We respect your privacy . All email addresses you provide will be used just for sending this story.

Trending in CR

Best Mattresses of 2024

Listeria Outbreak Is Linked to Cotija and Other Cheeses, Yogurt, and Sour Cream

How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

Popular Cars to Avoid and What to Buy Instead

How does Cruise Control Work and How To Use It?

How does Cruise Control Work and How To Use It?

Posted on 26 September 2023 29 September 2023 by Nur Wachda Mihmidati

cruise control

Cruise control is a feature commonly found in cars and is used to maintain consistent vehicle speed without the need to constantly press the accelerator pedal. This feature is very useful when driving on toll roads or straight highways, because it allows the driver to avoid leg muscle fatigue caused by pressing the accelerator pedal continuously to maintain vehicle speed.

This feature is one of the convenience features commonly found in many modern cars, and can help reduce stress and fatigue when traveling long distances on the highway. However, keep in mind that this feature should be used wisely and only in situations that are safe and in accordance with local laws. Find out more through the following TransTRACK article!

Cruise control function

The main function of this feature is to maintain consistent vehicle speed without the need to constantly press the gas pedal. It has several important benefits and purposes:

This feature allows drivers to adjust the vehicle speed easily, so they don’t have to constantly press the accelerator pedal. This is very convenient when driving long distances on relatively straight toll roads or highways.

Reduces Fatigue

By eliminating the need to control speed with the feet, this feature can help reduce leg muscle fatigue and overall driver fatigue. This is a particularly useful feature on long journeys.

This feature can help optimize fuel use by maintaining consistent vehicle speed. This can reduce fuel consumption compared to driving manually by changing speed frequently.

Consistent Speed

Cruise control helps keep the vehicle at a set speed without worrying about going too fast or too slow. This can help in maintaining a speed that complies with the speed limits on the road.

Ease of Overcoming Topography

Some of these advanced feature systems can adjust vehicle speed to the topography of the road, such as adjusting the speed when going up or down a hill to maintain the desired speed.

Excessive Speed Prevention

By setting the maximum speed, cruise control can also help prevent drivers from driving too fast and possibly breaking the law.

Reduces Stress

By eliminating the need to constantly adjust speed, this feature can reduce the driver’s stress levels while driving.

Although this feature has many benefits, the driver must remain alert and ready to take control of the vehicle at any time if the situation requires it. This does not replace the driver’s role in keeping the vehicle in a safe condition and in accordance with traffic rules.

How Cruise Control Works

Cruise control works by controlling the opening of the throttle (gas valve) to maintain vehicle speed at a level set by the driver. Here are the general steps on how cruise control works:

Speed Settings

The driver activates cruise control by moving a switch or button usually located on the steering wheel or center console of the car. They then set the desired speed, often by pressing the “Set” or “Cruise” button on the steering wheel.

Speed Controller

Once the speed is set, the cruise control system will monitor the vehicle speed. If the vehicle slows down or accelerates beyond the set limits, the system will respond by adjusting the throttle opening.

Automatic Throttle Opening

To maintain the desired speed, this feature system will control throttle opening automatically. This means the throttle will be opened wider or narrower, depending on road conditions, until the vehicle reaches the set speed.

Cancellation

The driver can cancel cruise control at any time in several ways. This includes pressing the brake, pressing a special cancel button, or moving a special switch on the steering wheel. This cancellation allows the driver to take control at any time if the situation requires it.

Reaction to Topography

Some of the more sophisticated systems of these features can adjust vehicle speed to cope with changes in road topography. This means the system will increase speed when going down a hill and reduce it when going up a hill, thereby maintaining the desired speed.

It is important to remember that although cruise control can control vehicle speed, the driver is still responsible for controlling the vehicle and maintaining safety. They must remain alert to changing road conditions, traffic and emergency situations.

Termination

When drivers want to stop this feature completely, they can press the off button or turn off the cruise control system by moving a special switch on the steering wheel.

How cruise control works varies slightly depending on the make and model of the car, but the basic principle is to maintain a consistent vehicle speed without requiring constant attention to the accelerator pedal. This provides comfort and can help reduce driver fatigue when driving long distances on the highway.

How to Use the Cruise Control Feature

Below are the general steps to use the features of Cruise Control:

On/Off Button (On/Off Button)

Press the “On/Off” button to activate the cruise control feature. This will power on the system and be ready for speed setting.

Res+ (Resume/Accelerate) button

Once the cruise control feature is activated, use the “Res+” (Resume/Accelerate) button to increase vehicle speed. Press this button to restore the last set speed if you have canceled it previously or to accelerate the vehicle from the current speed.

Set Button- (Set/Decelerate)

Use the “Set-” (Set/Decelerate) button to reduce vehicle speed when the cruise control feature is active. Press this button to reduce vehicle speed and reset cruise control speed.

Cancel Button

The “Cancel” button is used to cancel this feature without turning it off completely. This means the driver can still control the vehicle manually. Press this button if you want to stop cruise control temporarily, for example, to avoid a dangerous situation or take over control of the vehicle.

The steps for using cruise control with these buttons may vary slightly between different makes and models of car. Therefore, it is always best to refer to your vehicle owner’s manual for the exact instructions appropriate to your car. Apart from that, make sure you use cruise control wisely and only in safe road conditions and in accordance with applicable traffic rules.

In maintaining the comfort and safety of your trip, the cruise control feature can be a very useful ally. However, it is not enough to rely solely on this feature; Vehicle maintenance is also very important. That’s why we want to introduce you to the Vehicle Maintenance System from TransTRACK.

TransTRACK’s Vehicle Maintenance System is the leading solution for monitoring and maintaining your vehicle efficiently. With this system, you can easily schedule and track routine maintenance, such as oil changes, tire monitoring, brake service, and more.

In addition, TransTRACK also allows you to monitor your vehicle’s performance in real-time, identify potential problems before they become major problems, and keep your vehicle always in top condition. With the kilometer tracking feature, you can track your vehicle usage and plan maintenance based on actual usage.

With TransTRACK, you can feel more confident on every trip you take, knowing that your vehicle is always in top condition. So, don’t hesitate to try TransTRACK’s Vehicle Maintenance System and experience the real difference in your vehicle maintenance. Get more information about TransTRACK and how it can improve your vehicle maintenance on our website.

cruise control features

Rekomendasi Artikel

cruise control features

How Does the Bus Handbrake Work and Operate?

cruise control features

A Deeper Look at Various Car Suspension System Components and Their Functions

cruise control features

Why do Car Rental Owners Need to Use GPS Trackers?

cruise control features

How Does Cruise Control Work?

Cruise control is awesome, be it regular or adaptive cruise. But, how does cruise control work, and can you trust it while driving?

We invented cars as means of transportation, to go faster and to go further. But the evolution of cars didn't stop there. Comfort has become a necessity, leading to the invention of features purely for driver convenience—features such as cruise control.

Cruise control lets you take your foot off the gas pedal without your car losing speed. With cruise control, you enter the speed, and then the car keeps cruising at that speed.

It's bliss for driving long distances on highways, but how does cruise control actually work?

What Is Cruise Control?

Car interior equipped with cruise control.

Cruise control is a driving assist that maintains a constant driving speed without your foot on the gas pedal. Cruise control has been around for a long time, but only in the past few years has it become more common in economy cars.

There are various types of cruise control mechanisms, and these usually work according to the type of throttle system in your car. However, some manufacturers take this feature to the next level with adaptive cruise control, automatically altering cruise speed.

Cruise control has evolved many times since it was first used in automobiles. As mentioned before, cruise control's working mechanism revolves around the throttle system. Right now, there are mostly two types of throttle systems in the cars you see out in the streets: the older cable throttle and the newer drive-by-wire throttle.

Cruise Control in Older Cars with Cable Throttle

Cruise control in cars with throttle cable.

Cable throttle systems use mechanical connections, and thus, the cruise control on these cars works mechanically as well.

In cars with cable throttle systems, the cruise control actuator is connected to the throttle body through a cable on one side. On the other side, the actuator is connected to a pump.

Most cruise control actuators in cable throttle bodies use a set of springs and rely on vacuum pressure. The pump connected to the actuator creates a vacuum that tightens the springs in the actuator and this, in turn, puts tension on the cable. This cable is connected to the throttle body, and when the actuator puts tension on the cable, the throttle body opens in response. This ultimately gives your car gas without the gas pedal being used.

Related: What Is an Immobilizer and Does My Car Have One?

Now remains the question of how a specific speed is set for the actuator. This all goes through the car's electronic control unit or ECU. You press a button in your car to activate cruise control, and the ECU powers the pump in just the right amount to put the right tension on the cable. Lo and behold your car drives without your foot on the gas pedal!

The ECU also takes info from the speed sensor to see if the current speed and the target speed match. If your car is going faster than it should, then the ECU will release some tension on the cable, and if it's going slower, it will increase the tension.

Some cars use valves instead of pumps to create the vacuum in the cruise control actuator. In that case, the ECU is responsible for opening and closing that valve.

Keep in mind that there are various types of cruise control actuators, and not all use springs, though most do.

Cruise Control in Newer Cars with Drive-By-Wire Throttle

Volkswagen car with cruise control.

The cruise control system in newer cars with drive-by-wire throttle bodies is entirely electronic. Since there are no mechanical parts involved, the ECU gets the current speed and decreases or increases it to reach the target speed.

In these cars, the ECU talks directly to the electronic control module (ECM). The ECM is responsible for controlling the throttle body to accelerate or decelerate. Once you set your preferred speed, the ECU grabs that and sorts it out with the ECM and just like that, your car drives at your preferred speed.

How Does Adaptive Cruise Control Work?

Cruise control in a Tesla.

Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is an advanced form of cruise control that takes in information from sensors other than the speed sensor to determine the ideal speed in real-time.

ACC talks to proximity sensors such as radar and lidar, speed sensors, and a combination of cameras to take in the other vehicles on the road and the road itself. Once the signals are received and processed, ACC determines the safe distance and speed.

This system then alters the speed accordingly, reducing your car's speed if you're getting too close to another car in front or if you're nearing a turn. Once the road is clear, ACC accelerates the car to the target speed you have set.

In some cars, ACC can even trigger the brake systems to decelerate the car quickly in case the car in front suddenly brakes or a hazard appears.

Related: How Does Adaptive High Beam Assistance Work?

Cruise Control in Motorcycles

Motorcycle and its throttle handle.

Unlike cars, motorcycles don't have gas pedals. They have gas handles instead. Unfortunately, holding a gas handle for a long duration is much more frustrating than holding a gas pedal. This nuisance has called for a technology similar to cruise control in function but different in design: throttle lock.

Throttle lock functions similarly to cruise control in cable throttle cars, except it skips the actuator and the ECU and directly deals with the throttle body.

Throttle lock works by locking the throttle cable and maintaining a constant amount of tension on the cable. This keeps the motorcycle cruising at a steady speed.

The simplicity of the throttle lock has a catch. Throttle lock doesn't check in with the speed sensors to see if it's going any faster or slower than the target speed, so it only works well on flat roads.

When to Use (and Not to Use!) Cruise Control

twist-turn-road

Use cruise control on straight roads with little traffic. As a safety measure, braking will disengage cruise control, and on a road with lots of vehicles, you'll need to brake often.

Cars naturally decelerate when you take your foot off the gas pedal, but that won't be the case when you have cruise control activated. It might be too late by the time you hit the brakes when you use cruise control on a crowded road.

This also goes for roads with lots of turns and twists. Entering a sharp turn with high speed is often dangerous. Put the turns behind you and once you have a straight road, engage the cruise control.

Though the point of cruise control is to make your ride more comfortable, it's prone to make you a bit too comfortable. Falling asleep behind the wheels with cruise control engaged is likelier to happen. Albeit this time, the car won't decelerate and will keep going.

Related: Standalone vs. Integrated Car Navigation Systems: What's the Best Option?

Adaptive cruise control solves most of the limitations that come with ordinary cruise control systems, but it still isn't flawless. Adaptive cruise control relies on your car's sensors to decide the appropriate speed, and these sensors can get blocked in bad weather. Snow, mud, rain, and other natural hazards can get in the way of your car's sensors and make the adaptive cruise control less reliable.

Adaptive cruise control has limited access to the braking system, and it won't be able to stop a head-on collision. Use the brakes yourself and remember that cruise control is only a driver assist feature, not an autopiloting system.

With this in mind, please take full control of your vehicle in bad weather and tricky roads. Don't trust the cruise control, be it normal or adaptive.

Cruising with Control

The cruise control system was first strictly found on high-end luxury cars, but now even economy cars are often equipped with this feature. This system makes driving long trips much easier, as you don't have to keep your foot on the gas pedal for hours.

Though cruise control makes things easier, it doesn't mean that you should use cruise control all the time. There are times where you need to take things into your own hands.

cruise control features

Cruise Control: All you need to know for a relaxed cruise

cruise control

  • By Manjul Sharma
  • Jul 14, 2022

Cruising on the highway to the beat of your favourite song – isn’t that an experience we all crave every once in a while?

However, manually maintaining the speed of your car with the accelerator pedal becomes tiring and uncomfortable over long distances.

Enter ‘ cruise control ’ – a feature that is becoming increasingly popular in higher-end car variants. Curious to know what exactly this feature does and whether it’s worth having? Read on.

Table of Contents

What is cruise control, how to use cruise control, advantages of cruise control in a car.

  • Disadvantages of cruise control in a car  

Adaptive cruise control

Adaptive cruise control vs cruise control, faqs about cruise control.

Cruise control button

Cruise control is a system that maintains car speeds set by the driver without requiring them to press the accelerator pedal. Moreover, it doesn’t let the car go above or below the set speed unless the driver presses the brake or accelerator pedal.

The function of cruise control is an automatic replication of the way a driver manually controls a vehicle’s speed. Early cruise control systems worked with a cable and an actuator to control the throttle valve.

Today’s modern cruise control systems have replaced the cable with various sensors connected to an ECU (Electronic Control Unit) . When the driver sets a speed, the ECU computes the driver’s input to the throttle and then configures the throttle accordingly. The system invariably maintains the speed set by the driver and adjusts the throttle configuration for the set speed to remain unaltered by the changing road conditions.

Cruise control function

Before activating the cruise control in a car, check for adverse weather conditions. Refrain from using cruise control at high speeds during rains as low visibility and unpredictable road conditions make driving unsafe.

Nevertheless, the following steps will help you understand how to use the cruise control system in your car:

  • Step 1 – Accelerate the car to the speed you’d like to set. Be mindful: do not cross the speed limit of the road or highway.
  • Step 2 – Once the car reaches the desired speed, activate cruise control by pressing its button which is either on or near the steering wheel. Remember to locate the button before deciding to activate cruise control.
  • Step 3 – Take your foot off the accelerator pedal as the car doesn’t need your input anymore to maintain a constant speed.
  • Step 4 – While driving, keep your eye on the road and be prepared to react to changing road conditions. Be ready to push the brake if you encounter an obstacle.
  • Step 5 – If you want to accelerate, you can press the given ‘+’ (plus) button.
  • Step 6 – If you want to decelerate, you can press the given ‘-’ (minus) button.
  • Step 7 – If you even slightly press the brake pedal, the car should deactivate the cruise control.

The buttons to engage cruise control, accelerate, and decelerate vary from car to car. So, remember to check before getting behind the wheel.

The cruise control feature is meant to minimise drivers’ fatigue while driving long distances, by keeping the car running at a constant speed without any manual input. The driver doesn’t need to keep the accelerator pedal pressed and can let their foot relax. Cruise control is mainly used on highways when it can be engaged for longer durations.

Increases mileage

When a car runs at a constant speed, its engine also operates at constant RPMs (Revolutions per minute). With fewer fluctuations in speed and RPM, fuel consumption is also controlled to a great extent, helping to increase your car’s mileage on long highway journeys.

Helps you drive safely

Drivers usually tend to cross the speed limit on clear, endless highways. With cruise control, you can set your speed below the highway’s speed limit and travel safely.

Effortless control

To increase or decrease the speed of your car, you generally use the accelerator and brake pedal. While on the highway, you may want to adjust the speed to match the road conditions. A cruise control system’s speed can be controlled with buttons on your steering wheel, giving you adaptive control on the road. More expensive cars are also equipped with adaptive cruise control, where this operation is done automatically.

Disadvantages of cruise control in a car

Limitations of indian roads.

Cruise control is a feature best suited to wide, long, smooth, and (most importantly) clear  highways. While India has a fantastic network of smooth highways, one may face obstacles such as cattle, dogs, etc. along the way. Moreover, many people disregard the regulations and speed limits and jeopardize highway journeys.

Increases reaction time when you need to be quick

Due to the uncertainty on Indian roads, you never know when you might need to press the brake pedal all of a sudden. If you encounter an emergency while cruise control is activated, it might take you slightly longer to apply the brakes and save yourself from an accident.

It can lead to drowsiness

With activated cruise control, the car can remain at a constant speed for as long as you want. As the cruise control reduces active involvement in driving, your alertness level may drop which eventually leads to drowsiness. We highly recommend disengaging cruise control every 10 to 15 minutes.

Spinny Assured Mahindra XUV700

A level 1 autonomous driving technology, adaptive cruise control uses radar sensors to evaluate the difference in speed and distance from the car ahead. For instance, if the vehicle ahead of your car slows down or speeds up, with adaptive cruise control your car will reduce its speed or accelerate to maintain the set distance from the preceding vehicle. Adaptive cruise control is usually found in premium cars. However, it has now trickled down to some premium passenger cars such as the Mahindra XUV700, MG Gloster and MG Astor.

Cruise control is a major attraction in variants that come with it, and while it definitely sounds like a dream, it may not be for everyone. So before you decide to get yourself a car with cruise control, understand how it works, its pros, cons, and whether its suited to your needs and environment. 

What does cruise control do on a car?

The cruise control in a car automatically runs it at a constant speed set by the driver and doesn’t require the driver to press the accelerator pedal.

When should you use cruise control?

Remember, while using cruise control you must be able to see the road ahead as clearly and as far as possible. Cruise control should be avoided in rainy conditions.

Is cruise control good for your car?

Cruise control has its pros and cons. While it reduces your effort considerably as you don’t need to keep your foot on the accelerator pedal, at the same time, you need to remain as alert as possible to the unpredictability of Indian roads, for example, cattle, stray animals, a novice driver who suddenly steered the wheel without checking the cars behind him, etc.

Can I install cruise control in my car?

You might be able to install an aftermarket cruise control kit, but it is not recommended due to safety concerns.

You scroll like a champ! Now show us some love by sharing it with others

cruise control features

Share with friends

Editors' picks, latest news.

Kia Sonet 2023 Facelift

 Comparison: Kia Sonet 2024 Vs Tata Altroz

Hyundai i20 2023 facelift

 Comparison: Hyundai i20 Vs Honda Jazz

Hyundai i20 N-Line facelift

 Comparison: Hyundai i20 N-Line vs Hyundai Venue N-Line

Pet dog car

 6 Things To Never Leave In Your Car

First Drive March Header

Your First Drive: The Best Moments from March

VW Taigun front

World Car Awards: Taigun, Kiger Shortlisted; See all Finalists Here

Browse by category.

  • COMPARISONS
  • ENTERTAINMENT
  • CUSTOMER STORIES

Important Links

7 Seater Cars | Best Mileage Cars | Used Cars In Bangalore | Used Cars In Delhi | Hybrid Cars in India | Sunroof Cars | Check e-Challan on Spinny | Used Cars In Gurgaon | Used Cars In Hyderabad | Used Cars In Noida | Used Cars In Pune | CNG Cars in India | Jeeps in India | Used Cars In Mumbai | Used Cars In Ahmedabad | Types of Cars | Car Brands in India | Used Cars In Chennai | Used Cars In Kolkata | Used Cars in Lucknow | Automatic Cars in India | Luxury Cars in India | Used Cars in Chandigarh | Used Cars in Coimbatore | Used Cars in Indore | Used Cars in Jaipur

Spinny is the most trusted way of buying and selling used cars. Choose from over 5000 fully inspected second-hand car models. Select online and book a test drive at your home or at a Spinny Car Hub near you. Get a no-questions-asked 5-day money back guarantee and a free one-year comprehensive service warranty with Assured Resale Value on every Spinny Assured ®  car.

MOST VIEWED ARTICLES

  • Best 7 Seater Cars in India
  • Best Hybrid Cars in India
  • Best SUV Cars under Rs. 15 lakh
  • Popular Car Brands in India
  • Best Mileage Cars in India
  • Sunroof Cars in India

TOP CATEGORIES

  • Car Reviews
  • Car Buying Guide
  • Spinny Stories
  • Spinny Assured
  • Blog – Yellow Drive
  • FAQ’s
  • How It Works
  • Inspection Process
  • Customer Reviews
  • Used Car Loan
  • Work With Us
  • Car Hub Locations
  • Trade With Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms & Conditions

Copyright ©️ 2024 Valuedrive Technologies Private Limited. All rights reserved.

Sell Used Car | Used Cars In Bangalore  | Used Cars In Delhi | Used Cars In Gurgaon | Used Cars In Hyderabad |  Used Cars In Noida |  Used Cars In Pune |  Used Cars In Mumbai |  Used Cars In Ahmedabad |  Used Cars In Chennai |  Used Cars In Kolkata |  Used Cars in Chandigarh | Used Cars in Coimbatore | Used Cars in Indore | Used Cars in Jaipur | Used Cars in Lucknow | Spinny Assured |  Inspection Process |

Spinny Logo

Spinny is the most trusted way of buying and selling used cars. Choose from over 2000 fully inspected second-hand car models. Select online and book a test drive at your home or at a Spinny Car Hub near you. Get a no-questions-asked 5-day money back guarantee and a free one-year comprehensive service warranty with Assured Resale Value on every Spinny Assured® car.

Sell Used Car |  Used Cars In Bangalore  | Used Cars In Delhi |   Used Cars In Gurgaon |   Used Cars In Hyderabad |  Used Cars In Noida |  Used Cars In Pune |  Used Cars In Mumbai |  Used Cars In Ahmedabad |  Used Cars In Chennai |  Used Cars In Kolkata |  Spinny Assured |  Inspection Process |  Used Car Loan

Want to Sell your Car?

Choose your brand below to get started:

IchieTech

  • February 2024
  • January 2024
  • December 2023
  • November 2023
  • October 2023
  • September 2023
  • August 2023
  • Advisories & Tips
  • Apps & Software
  • Buyer's Guide
  • Maintenance

IchieTech

Cruise Control: How it Works, Types and Everything You Should Know

Learn how to effectively use cruise control in your vehicle. follow our simple instructions to optimize your driving experience.

Cruise Control

Cruise control is a popular feature in modern vehicles that can make driving more comfortable and less stressful. There are several types of cruise control systems that drivers can choose from, depending on their driving conditions and preferences. Standard cruise control is the most basic system, which allows the driver to set a constant speed that the vehicle will maintain. Adaptive cruise control, on the other hand, uses sensors to detect the distance and speed of vehicles in front of the car, adjusting the vehicle’s speed accordingly to maintain a safe following distance.

Intelligent cruise control goes even further, using artificial intelligence to learn the driver’s behaviour and adjust the speed of the vehicle before the driver takes action. Stop-and-go cruise control is ideal for use in heavy traffic and can bring the vehicle to a complete stop if necessary, while speed limiters are designed to limit the maximum speed of the vehicle. Each type of cruise control system has its own advantages and disadvantages, and drivers should choose the one that best suits their needs.

What Is Cruise Control

Cruise control is a system within a vehicle that enables drivers to establish and sustain a specific speed without having to continuously press the accelerator pedal. The system uses electronic sensors to track the vehicle’s speed and automatically regulate the throttle and brakes to maintain the predetermined speed. Cruise controle is generally employed during extended trips on highways, where sustaining a constant speed can decrease driver tiredness and boost fuel economy. It is a common feature in modern automobiles, trucks, and other types of vehicles.

How it Works

Cruise control works by using a combination of electronic sensors, servos, and control algorithms to maintain a vehicle’s speed without requiring the driver to continuously press the accelerator pedal. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how cruise controle works:

  • The driver activates cruise control by pressing a button or flipping a switch on the dashboard or steering wheel.
  • The system uses electronic sensors to measure the vehicle’s speed and other factors such as throttle position, engine load, and road grade.
  • The driver sets the desired speed by pressing a button or using a lever. The speed is usually displayed on the dashboard.
  • Once the speed is set, the cruise controle system takes over and maintains the speed by sending signals to the throttle and brakes as necessary.
  • If the vehicle encounters an incline or decline, the cruise control system adjusts the throttle to maintain a constant speed.
  • If the driver needs to slow down or stop, they can deactivate the cruise control by pressing the brake or clutch pedal, or by turning off the system using the control button.
In some modern cars, the cruise control system is enhanced with additional sensors and algorithms that enable it to adapt to the surrounding traffic and road conditions. These advanced systems are known as adaptive cruise control, intelligent cruise control, or active cruise control.

How To Use Cruise Control

Cruise control is a feature commonly found in modern vehicles that allows the driver to maintain a constant speed without having to keep their foot on the accelerator pedal. Here’s how to use cruise control:

  • Locate the cruise control button : The button is typically located on the steering wheel or dashboard. Check your owner’s manual if you’re having trouble finding it.
  • Activate cruise control : Once you’ve found the cruise control button, press it to turn on the system. You should see a light on the dashboard indicating that cruise control is active.
  • Accelerate to your desired speed : Using the accelerator pedal, accelerate to the speed you want to maintain.
  • Set the speed : Press the “set” or “res” button on the steering wheel to set the speed. The vehicle will maintain this speed until you cancel cruise control or apply the brakes.
  • Adjust the speed : To increase or decrease your speed, use the “+” or “-” buttons on the steering wheel.
  • Cancel cruise control : To turn off cruise control, press the “off” or “cancel” button on the steering wheel, or press the brake pedal.
  • Resume cruise control : If you cancel cruise control but want to resume it at the previous speed, press the “resume” button on the steering wheel.
Note: Always remember to pay attention to the road and adjust your speed as needed. Do not rely solely on cruise control while driving.

Advantages Of Cruise Control

  • Reduces driver fatigue : With cruise control engaged, the driver does not have to maintain constant pressure on the accelerator pedal. This can help reduce driver fatigue, particularly during long trips.
  • Conserves fuel : Cruise control helps maintain a consistent speed, which can result in better fuel efficiency. This is because the vehicle is not accelerating and decelerating as frequently, which can waste fuel.
  • Helps avoid speeding tickets : Cruise control can help drivers avoid speeding tickets, as they can set the desired speed and avoid accidentally exceeding the speed limit.
  • Improves safety : Maintaining a consistent speed with cruise control can help reduce the likelihood of sudden braking or acceleration, which can improve safety on the road.
  • Enhances driving experience : Cruise control can make driving more comfortable and less stressful, particularly in heavy traffic or on long trips.

Disadvantages Of Cruise Control

  • Limited use : Cruise controle is best suited for use on highways or other roads with minimal traffic and few curves. It may not be appropriate for use in heavy traffic or on winding roads, as it may not respond quickly enough to changing driving conditions.
  • Increases risk in hazardous conditions : Using cruise controle in hazardous conditions such as rain, ice, or snow can be dangerous. The driver may not be able to react quickly enough to changing conditions, and the vehicle may lose traction or spin out of control.
  • Can lead to complacency : Relying too heavily on cruise controle can lead to complacency and inattention while driving. The driver may become less aware of their surroundings or less attentive to the road.
  • May cause speed variations : Cruise controle may cause speed variations due to changes in road elevation, wind, or traffic conditions. This can be a problem if the driver is not paying attention and fails to adjust the speed manually.
  • May reduce driver engagement : Using cruise controle for extended periods of time may reduce driver engagement and enjoyment of the driving experience.

Types Of Cruise Control

Modern vehicles offer various types of cruise control systems to assist drivers in maintaining a steady speed. Here are some of the most common types of speed control.

1. Standard Cruise Control

Standard cruise control is the most basic form of speed control system that has been around for several decades. It allows the driver to set a desired speed and maintain it without having to keep their foot on the accelerator pedal. Once activated, the system uses electronic sensors to monitor the speed of the vehicle and automatically adjusts the throttle to maintain a constant speed.

With standard cruise controle, the vehicle will maintain the set speed regardless of changes in the road conditions, such as uphill or downhill slopes or curves. To deactivate the system, the driver can either apply the brakes or turn off the cruise control switch. Standard cruise controle can be found on many vehicles, from entry-level models to high-end luxury cars.

While it can help reduce driver fatigue and improve fuel economy on long drives, it requires the driver to remain attentive and adjust the speed manually if necessary. Therefore, it is important for drivers to use it responsibly and not rely solely on the system to maintain a safe driving experience.

Advantages of Standard Cruise Control

  • Reduced driver fatigue : By allowing the driver to set a constant speed and not having to keep their foot on the accelerator pedal, standard cruise control can help reduce driver fatigue and make long drives more comfortable.
  • Improved fuel efficiency : Maintaining a constant speed using cruise controle can improve fuel efficiency by reducing unnecessary acceleration and deceleration, resulting in lower fuel consumption.
  • Avoiding speeding tickets : Standard cruise control helps drivers avoid unintentionally exceeding the speed limit, which can result in costly speeding tickets.
  • Easier driving in heavy traffic : When driving in heavy traffic, using cruise controle can help reduce stress and allow drivers to focus on other aspects of driving, such as changing lanes and looking out for other drivers.
  • Consistent speed : By maintaining a consistent speed, standard cruise controle can provide a smoother driving experience, especially on long, open roads where it can be challenging to maintain a constant speed manually.

Disadvantages Of Standard Cruise Control

  • Limited functionality : Standard cruise control can only maintain a constant speed and does not adjust the speed based on traffic or road conditions. As a result, drivers must be attentive and make manual adjustments if necessary, especially in situations such as steep hills, winding roads, or heavy traffic.
  • Reduced control : By taking over the throttle, standard cruise controle can reduce the driver’s control over the vehicle, particularly in emergency situations that require quick acceleration or deceleration.
  • Safety risks : Standard cruise controle may pose a safety risk in some situations, such as when driving on wet or icy roads, where sudden changes in road conditions could cause the vehicle to skid or lose control.
  • Increased fuel consumption : In some cases, standard cruise controle can actually increase fuel consumption, particularly in stop-and-go traffic, where frequent acceleration and deceleration can lead to higher fuel consumption than maintaining a constant speed.
  • Maintenance and repair costs : If the cruise controle system malfunctions, it can be costly to repair or replace.

2. Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is an advanced form of speed control that uses sensors and radar to detect the distance between the driver’s car and the vehicle ahead, unlike other types of cruise control systems. This type of cruise control automatically adjusts the speed of the vehicle to maintain a safe following distance and can even bring the vehicle to a complete stop if necessary.

The system uses sensors and radar to detect the distance between the driver’s car and the vehicle ahead. If the vehicle ahead slows down or stops, the ACC system automatically applies the brakes to slow down or stop the car, maintaining a safe distance. When the road clears or the vehicle ahead moves faster, the ACC system accelerates the car to the driver’s set speed or the maximum speed limit.

Some ACC systems also come with collision warning systems that alert the driver if the car gets too close to the vehicle ahead. Some systems can also detect pedestrians, animals, or other obstacles and apply the brakes if necessary.

Advantages Of Adaptive Cruise Control

  • Enhanced safety : By automatically maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, adaptive cruise control can help reduce the risk of rear-end collisions, making it a valuable safety feature.
  • Reduced driver fatigue : Adaptive speed control can reduce driver fatigue by taking over the task of maintaining a safe following distance, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Increased convenience : ACC can make long drives more comfortable and less stressful, as the driver doesn’t have to constantly adjust the speed.
  • Fuel efficiency : By maintaining a constant speed and reducing unnecessary acceleration and deceleration, adaptive cruise control can help improve fuel efficiency.

Disadvantages Of Adaptive Cruise Control

  • High cost : ACC systems are more expensive than traditional cruise control systems.
  • Limited functionality : ACC may not work in all driving situations, such as on winding roads or in heavy rain or snow.
  • Over-reliance : Drivers may become too reliant on the ACC system and neglect to pay attention to the road and other vehicles, which can lead to accidents.
  • Complex operation : ACC systems can be complex and difficult to operate, requiring drivers to understand how the system works and how to use it correctly.

3. Intelligent Cruise Control

Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC), also known as Active Cruise Control (ACC), is an advanced form of cruise controle that uses sensors and cameras to detect the distance and speed of the vehicles ahead. ICC not only maintains a safe distance from the vehicle ahead but also adjusts the speed of the vehicle to match the flow of traffic.

The system uses a forward-facing camera and sensors to detect the speed and distance of the vehicle in front of the driver. If the vehicle ahead slows down or speeds up, ICC automatically adjusts the speed of the driver’s car to maintain a safe following distance. Unlike regular speed control, ICC can also bring the car to a complete stop and resume driving when the vehicle ahead starts moving again.

ICC systems can also recognize lane markings and keep the car centred within the lane, providing additional safety and convenience benefits. Some ICC systems can even detect and respond to pedestrians and other obstacles, providing an added layer of safety.

Advantages Of Intelligent Cruise Control

  • Increased safety : By automatically adjusting the speed and maintaining a safe following distance, ICC can help prevent accidents and reduce the risk of collisions.
  • Reduced driver fatigue : ICC can reduce driver fatigue and make long drives more comfortable, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Improved fuel efficiency : By maintaining a constant speed and reducing unnecessary acceleration and deceleration, ICC can help improve fuel efficiency.
  • Enhanced convenience : ICC can make driving more convenient and less stressful, as the system takes care of maintaining a safe distance and speed.

Disadvantages Of Intelligent Cruise Control

  • High cost : ICC systems can be expensive, especially in luxury cars.
  • Complex operation : ICC systems can be complex and difficult to operate, requiring drivers to understand how the system works and how to use it correctly.
  • Limited functionality : ICC may not work in all driving situations, such as on winding roads or in heavy rain or snow.
  • Over-reliance : Drivers may become too reliant on the ICC system and neglect to pay attention to the road and other vehicles, which can lead to accidents.

4. Stop-and-Go Cruise Control

Stop-and-Go Cruise Control is an advanced form of speed control, Unlike other types of cruise controle systems. It can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, even in stop-and-go traffic. This type of cruise controle is designed to help drivers reduce stress and fatigue when driving in heavy traffic conditions. The system uses sensors and cameras to detect the distance and speed of the vehicle ahead.

When traffic slows down or comes to a stop, the Stop-and-Go Cruise Control system automatically applies the brakes to bring the car to a complete stop. When the traffic ahead starts moving again, the system automatically accelerates the car to follow the flow of traffic.

Stop-and-Go speed control systems can help reduce the stress and fatigue of driving in heavy traffic, as the system takes care of maintaining a safe distance and speed. Some systems also have the ability to recognize and respond to pedestrians and other obstacles, providing an added layer of safety.

Advantages Of Stop-and-Go Cruise Control

  • Reduced driver fatigue : Stop-and-Go Cruise controle can reduce driver fatigue and make long drives in heavy traffic more comfortable.
  • Increased safety : By automatically adjusting the speed and maintaining a safe following distance, Stop-and-Go Cruise controle can help prevent accidents and reduce the risk of collisions.
  • Enhanced convenience : Stop-and-Go speed control can make driving in heavy traffic more convenient and less stressful, as the system takes care of maintaining a safe distance and speed.
  • Improved fuel efficiency : By maintaining a constant speed and reducing unnecessary acceleration and deceleration, Stop-and-Go Cruise controle can help improve fuel efficiency.

Disadvantages Of Stop-and-Go Cruise Control

  • Limited functionality : Stop-and-Go speed control may not work in all driving situations, such as on winding roads or in heavy rain or snow.
  • High cost : Stop-and-Go speed control systems can be expensive, especially in luxury cars.
  • Complex operation : Stop-and-Go speed control systems can be complex and difficult to operate, requiring drivers to understand how the system works and how to use it correctly.
  • Over-reliance : Drivers may become too reliant on the system and neglect to pay attention to the road and other vehicles, which can lead to accidents.

5. Speed Limiter

A speed limiter is a type of speed control system that is designed to limit the maximum speed of a vehicle. Unlike other types of cruise control systems, which maintain a set speed, a speed limiter prevents a vehicle from exceeding a certain speed limit.

Speed limiters can be installed in vehicles as a safety feature, particularly in commercial vehicles like trucks and buses. These vehicles are often required by law to have speed limiters installed, as they can help prevent accidents caused by excessive speed. In addition, speed limiters can help improve fuel efficiency and reduce wear and tear on the vehicle’s engine and brakes.

There are two main types of speed limiters :

Hard limiters : These limiters prevent a vehicle from exceeding a certain speed limit, typically set by the manufacturer. Once the limit is set, it cannot be exceeded, even in emergency situations. Soft limiters : These limiters allow the vehicle to exceed the set speed limit in certain situations, such as when overtaking or accelerating to merge onto a highway. However, the limiter will still prevent the vehicle from exceeding the maximum speed limit.

Advantages Of Speed Limiter

  • Increased safety : Speed limiters can help prevent accidents caused by excessive speed, especially in commercial vehicles.
  • Reduced fuel consumption : By limiting the maximum speed of a vehicle, speed limiters can help improve fuel efficiency.
  • Reduced wear and tear : Speed limiters can help reduce wear and tear on a vehicle’s engine and brakes, extending the life of the vehicle.
  • Compliance with regulations : In some countries, commercial vehicles are required by law to have speed limiters installed.

Disadvantages Of Speed Limiter

  • Limited functionality : Speed limiters may not be effective in preventing all types of accidents or speeding violations.
  • Reduced driver control : Some drivers may feel uncomfortable with a speed limiter installed, as it restricts their ability to control the vehicle’s speed.
  • Maintenance costs : Speed limiters may require maintenance and calibration, which can be costly.

It’s important to remember that cruise control is not a substitute for attentive driving. Drivers should always remain aware of their surroundings and be ready to take control of the vehicle at any time. Additionally, drivers should not use speed control in certain situations, such as in heavy traffic, on wet or slippery roads, or when driving in mountainous terrain. Overall, it can be a helpful tool for long-distance driving on open roads, but drivers should always use it with caution and be aware of its limitations.

You Might Also Like

2024 cheapest new cars: new cars in 2024 that won’t break the bank, how to choose the perfect car battery booster, top 10 chinese cars in 2024: sedans, suvs, evs, and more, top chinese suvs and crossovers to consider in 2024, 2025 lexus ux 300h: the 2025 lexus ux 300h blends performance and efficiency, sign up for daily newsletter, be keep up get the latest tech and auto news delivered straight to your inbox..

Email address:

cruise control features

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Stay Connected

Latest news.

2024 Cheapest New Cars

Beyond Black & White: Top Trending & High-Value Paint Colours for Used Cars

Chinese Cars

Recent Comments

Sign in to your account

Username or Email Address

Remember Me

What is Cruise Control?

Cruise control is one of those features that most of us cannot live without, but have you ever wondered how cruise control works? How is it able to keep the speed you have set, even when climbing up a hill?

Advertisement

cruise control features

Subaru of America, Inc.

It isn’t black magic, but a system of various mechanical and electrical parts that work together. We’ll be taking a closer look at the standard cruise control system fitted to most vehicles. Plus, we’ll dive into the latest advances in cruise control technology, such as adaptive cruise control.

The Ins and Outs of Basic Cruise Control

Cruise control begins with a set of buttons on the steering wheel that allows the driver to turn the system on and off, set the desired speed, and either increase or reduce speed.

The driver sets the speed by pushing the accelerator pedal until the desired speed is reached and hits the ‘Set’ button. Depending on the age of the vehicle, there are a couple of different ways the cruise control system keeps the set speed. Older models use a cable that is hooked up to the throttle, which controls the speed of a vehicle, and an actuator, which moves the cable back and forth. The actuator itself is controlled by the vehicle’s ECU (engine control unit), which monitors the speed you have programmed and the speed of the vehicle from wheel sensors.

Say you set the cruise control to 70 mph. The ECU monitors the speed of the vehicle and makes sure the vehicle gets up to the set speed and stays there. If all of a sudden the vehicle starts climbing a hill and the speed decreases, the ECU will see this and have the actuator pull the cable to open up the throttle and get the vehicle back up to speed. Once up the hill, the ECU tells the actuator to let out the cable and reduce the throttle. This works the same when the ECU detects the vehicle going faster than the set speed (if you're going downhill, for instance). The ECU will alert the actuator to let out the cable to reduce the throttle. In modern vehicles, the throttle is controlled is controlled by electric motors instead of a cable, but the basic process remains the same.

Adaptive Cruise Control

For a number of years, a big problem with cruise control was that it didn't work well in traffic. You had to constantly turn it off because a car cut you off or traffic slowed down. Plus, there was always the issue of causing an accident if you became distracted while it was on.

However, automakers had a solution in the form of adaptive cruise control, or automatic cruise control. Adaptive cruise control uses a sensor – either radar or laser – to monitor the road and detect vehicles. The driver sets a speed and a distance they want between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. If the system detects a vehicle within that distance, it will notify the ECU to slow the vehicle down to keep the set distance between the two vehicles. The ECU will keep the vehicle at a lower speed until the vehicle in front speeds up or changes lanes.

In 1999, Mercedes-Benz was the first to introduce an adaptive cruise control system. Other auto manufacturers would soon follow. At the beginning, there were two systems available: radar and laser. Laser systems were used by many automakers, as they were slightly cheaper than radar. But laser systems had a number of issues, such as not being able to reliably detect a vehicle in rain or snow. You also had to make sure the sensors were clean. After a few years, radar systems got down to the same price as laser systems, and many automakers began to switch.

cruise control features

Subaru's EyeSight system (Subaru of America, Inc.)

What’s in Store for the Future?

Cruise control is going to be playing a key role for autonomous vehicles. Adaptive cruise control systems will be used to monitor vehicles in front to keep a safe distance. Even though we are still a ways off from autonomous vehicles, various technologies have trickled down to current models.

One example is Subaru 's EyeSight system, which uses stereoscopic cameras instead of radar for adaptive cruise control. Camera systems can offer a longer range (about 87 yards in front of the vehicle) than radar systems. Newer adaptive cruise control systems can also bring the car to a full stop if necessary. Subaru has recently updated their system with new color cameras. This helps the system better recognize certain objects, such as a vehicle’s stop lights.

Other manufacturers, such as BMW , have implemented automatic stop-and-go driving into their systems. Say you’re driving on the freeway and you come to a traffic jam where no one is moving. The system is able to recognize this and bring the vehicle to a full stop. Once traffic starts moving, the system will automatically accelerate back to the speed you set.

Save on your monthly payments! Find the best local prices on your next car.

U.S. News Best Cars Awards

  • Best Cars for the Money
  • Best Cars for Families
  • Best Vehicle Brands

Recommended Articles

2023 Toyota bZ4X launch event

The Best EV Deals

Cherise Threewitt Feb. 7, 2024

2024 Volvo XC60 black edition

Best Luxury Car and SUV Lease Deals

Chris Teague Feb. 7, 2024

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT

Best 0% Car Deals

Jim Gorzelany Feb. 7, 2024

2023 Honda Civic Hatchback Exterior

Best Presidents Day Car Deals

Kristen Hall-Geisler Feb. 7, 2024

2024 Hyundai Palisade and 2024 Mazda CX-90

Hyundai Palisade vs. Mazda CX-90

Warren Clarke Feb. 6, 2024

2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E vs. 2024 Kia EV6

Ford Mustang Mach-E vs. Kia EV6

George Kennedy Feb. 6, 2024

IndianAuto | Buy and sell used cars, New car prices in India, Car news, tips, expert reviews and more

Popular Tips

Car Registration Charges In Delhi: RTO Delhi Road Tax Fees & Registration

Car Registration Charges In Delhi: RTO Delhi Road Tax Fees & Registration

How To Apply For Permanent Car Registration In MP

How To Apply For Permanent Car Registration In MP

How To Transfer Vehicle Ownership in Delhi

How To Transfer Vehicle Ownership in Delhi

Lost Your RC book? Complete Guide to Duplicate RC

Lost Your RC book? Complete Guide to Duplicate RC

Easiest And Quickest Ways To Remove Car Stickers

Easiest And Quickest Ways To Remove Car Stickers

Buying Used Volkswagen Ameo (2016-2019): Essential Tips For You

Buying Used Volkswagen Ameo (2016-2019): Essential Tips For You

You might be interested in.

Tata Harrier vs Toyota Innova Crysta: Which One Is The Better Choice?

Tata Harrier vs Toyota Innova Crysta: Which One Is The Better Choice?

Hyundai i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Comparison: Which car is better to buy?

Hyundai i20 vs Maruti S-Cross Comparison: Which car is better to buy?

Battle Between Maruti Ertiga vs Honda BR-V? Which Wins?

Battle Between Maruti Ertiga vs Honda BR-V? Which Wins?

Maruti Dzire Vs Honda City - What To Buy?

Maruti Dzire Vs Honda City - What To Buy?

Featured links.

  • Best Car Tyre Brand
  • Car Maintenance Tips
  • Car Name Start With M
  • Best Car Tyres in India
  • Merc GLA vs BM x1

Car Features Explained: Cruise Control and How to Use It

Follow on Facebook

Cruise Control, also known as speed control, is designed to assist the driver when running at constant speed in long journeys. It automatically controls the speed of the vehicle and only let the vehicle reach the preset speed. This feature is useful on highways or desert areas. In addition, for safety reasons, most roads set the maximum speed limit allowed to avoid drivers run over speed. As a result, almost all automakers have come up with the Cruise Control feature to help their cars operate at the desired speed, thereby reducing the need to press the accelerator pedal for a long period of time. Depending on the manufacturer, the minimum speed for this mode can be 20 km/h or 30 km/h. To ensure safety, car makers like Chevrolet or Ford set a minimum speed of 40km/h.

car travels on a curving road

Cruise Control is useful in a long journey

1. How to use Cruise Control?

The Cruise Control mode is easy to use. Once the vehicle reaches the desired speed, cruise control can be activated. All drivers need to do is detecting the position of Cruise Control button on their cars. Most autos have the cruise control button on the steering wheel, however, it is recommended that the driver should have a look and find the cruise control button while the car is immobile. With some models such as Chevrolet Cruze or Chevrolet Colorado High Country, the Cruise Control button is integrated on the front of the steering wheel. You just need to push the button to activate cruise control and the current speed is set as the cruise speed.

cruise control button on steering wheel

Most cars are equipped with the cruise control button on the steering wheel

2. Activate Cruise Control Mode

To enable Cruise Control on Chevrolet models, the driver needs to press the On/Off Cruise to enable this feature, then gently press accelerator pedal to the specified minimum speed. For the Chevrolet Cruze, minimum speed is 40km/h with convenient road conditions. At this point, the driver can remove his foot from the accelerator pedal without making the car slow down. The computer system will automatically adjust the accelerator pedal to stabilize the speed that the driver has set. Many drivers are particularly interested in this feature, particularly on speed-limit roads. Because once the Cruise Control is activated, their vehicles never exceed the speed limit, such as 80 km/h or 60 km/h.

3. Set - or RES + symbol on Cruise Control

In order to increase or decrease the speed of the vehicle, the driver can use the set-up symbol to automatically change the speed of the car, def + symbol to reduce the speed of the car and the Res + to increase its speed. Depending on the settings of each company, Cruise Control increases or decreases the speed of vehicle differently. With the Chevrolet, each increase and decrease will adjust 5 km/h. If the driver is traveling at a speed of 40km/h, the operator must simply lower the speed control by pressing the Set - symbol. When the driver is traveling at 80 km/h, if he/she suddenly encounters an obstacle and has to press the brake pedal and lower the speed to 60 km/h, he/she just has to press RES + to speed up the car to 80km/h.

Set - or RES + symbol on car

Adjust cruise speed with Set - or RES + button 

Cruise control is also quite safe when unexpected situations happen. Once the driver touches the brake pedal, this feature will automatically be shut down and the driver can actively control the speed of the car. After that, the driver simply turns on the Cruise Control feature to continue enjoying the long journey. However, if you are tired, never use Cruise Control, as it could lead to serious accidents. A few car manufacturers have come up with automatic braking in an attempt to mitigate accidents caused by driver fatigue.

Read more  tips and guides  from  IndianAuto

7 Basic Safety Features That Every Car Should Have

Top 5 child safety features that every Indian family car should have

Follow us on google news

  • car accessories
  • How to use cruise control
  • cruise control

Tracking icon

Cruise Control – Pros & Cons

Cruise Control Pros & Cons

Cruise control is a smart feature in modern cars that lets you set a specific speed your car will maintain without you having to keep your foot on the gas pedal. It’s sort of like setting a pace for a marathon, so you don’t have to think about it constantly.

Here is a quick breakdown of the pros and cons of cruise control:

  • Pros: Increased fuel efficiency, reduced driver fatigue, consistent speed maintenance, fewer speeding violations.
  • Cons: Potential inattentiveness, inefficiency in city driving, risks in adverse weather, compatibility issues with older vehicles.

In this article, we’ll dig deeper into these advantages and disadvantages and explore the next-generation Adaptive Cruise Control.

A Quick Look at Cruise Control

A Quick Look at Cruise Control

The cruise control system relies on a speedometer and a servo mechanism to work. When you set a speed, the system maintains it by controlling the throttle. If your car goes slower than the set speed, like going up a hill, the system increases throttle to speed up. When going downhill, it reduces throttle to slow down, keeping your car at the same speed you set.

The first rudimentary versions of cruise control appeared in the late 19th century, but the modern version was invented in the 1940s by Ralph Teetor , a blind mechanical engineer. His goal was to stop the jerky speed adjustments made by his chauffeur, which led to the invention of “Speedostat”, later known as cruise control.

Cruise control quickly became popular, especially for highway driving, and was a standard feature in many cars by the 1990s. Over time, technological advancements led to the development of more sophisticated systems. One of these is Adaptive Cruise Control , a more advanced type of cruise control that can automatically adjust the car’s speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead.

The Advantages of Cruise Control

Cruise control comes with several advantages that make driving not just easier but also safer and more efficient. Let’s look into these benefits in detail.

1. Increased fuel economy

Fuel efficiency is one of the significant benefits of using cruise control. When you manually control your car’s speed, it’s natural to have variations, leading to more fuel consumption. The cruise control maintains a steady speed, reducing fuel usage , especially on long highway drives. This is good for both your wallet and the environment!

2. Reduced driver fatigue

Long hours on the road can make drivers tired and less focused. Cruise control helps by taking over speed management, letting drivers relax their feet and concentrate more on steering and observing the road. This reduces fatigue , helping you stay alert and safer on your journey.

3. Consistent speed maintenance

Humans naturally struggle to maintain a constant speed while driving, especially over long distances. Cruise control, being a computerized system, can keep your car at a steady pace. This consistency makes your driving smoother and even contributes to smoother traffic flow when multiple vehicles use cruise control.

Cruise control is particularly beneficial on highways. Highways are typically long, straight roads with less traffic and few stops. These conditions are perfect for cruise control. By maintaining a constant speed, it aids in overall traffic management and reduces the risk of speeding.

4. Fewer speeding violations

A great benefit of cruise control is that it helps prevent speeding tickets. Since you set a maximum speed for your car , cruise control ensures you don’t accidentally go over the limit. It’s an excellent tool for keeping yourself within the law while also reducing the risk of speed-related accidents.

The Disadvantages of Cruise Control

While cruise control has many advantages, it’s not perfect. There are some disadvantages to consider, especially when it comes to city driving, weather conditions, and the age of your vehicle.

1. Potential inattentiveness

While cruise control can help with driver fatigue, there’s also a risk of becoming too relaxed . Some drivers may pay less attention to the road, thinking that cruise control is doing all the work. Remember, cruise control only manages speed. You still need to steer, brake, and stay alert.

2. Inefficiency in city driving

Cruise control is ideal for highways, but it’s less effective in the city. City driving often involves frequent stops, sudden speed changes, and navigating around other vehicles or pedestrians. Cruise control can’t handle these complexities, so manual control is better in these situations.

3. Risks in adverse weather

Cruise control is not recommended in bad weather conditions , like rain, snow, or icy roads. These situations require delicate control over your vehicle, something cruise control can’t provide. Using it in such conditions can increase the risk of losing control or hydroplaning.

4. Compatibility issues with older vehicles

While most new cars come with cruise control, older models might not have this feature. Even if you can install it, it might not work as efficiently as in newer cars. Also, the installation can be expensive, and there’s a risk of damaging the vehicle if not done correctly.

Practical Tips for Cruise Control

Practical Tips for Cruise Control

Cruise control is a handy tool, but it requires proper use to reap its benefits. Here are some practical tips to ensure you’re using cruise control effectively and safely:

  • Know when to use it : Cruise control is best for long, straight roads with consistent traffic, like highways. Avoid using it in heavy traffic, poor weather conditions, or on curvy or hilly roads.
  • Stay alert : Cruise control is not an autopilot. You still need to stay focused on the road, ready to brake, steer, or take over speed control if necessary.
  • Set a reasonable speed : Don’t set your cruise control at a speed that’s too fast for the conditions. Always adhere to speed limits and adjust your speed to the traffic, road, and weather conditions.
  • Use it to save fuel : By maintaining a consistent speed, cruise control can help improve your car’s fuel efficiency, particularly on long drives.
  • Understand its limitations : Cruise control cannot recognize stop signs, traffic lights, or other road hazards. That’s your job. Always be prepared to disengage cruise control quickly if needed.

Adaptive Cruise Control: The Next Generation

Adaptive Cruise Control is a newer, more advanced version of traditional cruise control. Just like its predecessor, Adaptive Cruise Control can maintain a set speed. But it also does something more—it can automatically adjust the speed of your car to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. Let’s delve into the pros and cons of this innovative technology.

The evolution of traditional cruise control

Unlike regular cruise control, Adaptive Cruise Control uses advanced sensors and sometimes cameras to watch the road ahead. If the car in front slows down, this system slows your car, too, maintaining the safe gap. When the road clears again, Adaptive Cruise Control speeds up back to your set speed. This means you can turn this feature on even in moderate traffic, a huge step up from traditional cruise control.

Advantages of Adaptive Cruise Control

Adaptive Cruise Control brings a new level of safety and convenience to driving. It can help prevent collisions by maintaining a safe following distance, reducing the stress of driving in heavy traffic. It also allows you to relax more without worrying about adjusting your speed frequently. But remember, even with Adaptive Cruise Control, you need to stay alert and ready to react if needed.

Disadvantages of Adaptive Cruise

Despite its benefits, Adaptive Cruise Control also has some drawbacks. For one, it’s usually more expensive both to purchase a new car and to repair if something goes wrong. Some drivers may find the cost not worth the added benefits.

Additionally, while Adaptive Cruise Control technology is pretty smart, it’s not perfect. It might not react to stopped vehicles or non-moving objects like a manual driver would. It can also be thrown off by bad weather or dirty sensors.

1. Do cruise control save gas?

Yes, cruise control can save gas. By maintaining a consistent speed, it helps your car use fuel more efficiently, especially during long drives on the highway. This efficiency decreases when roads are hilly or you’re stopping and starting a lot, like in city driving.

2. Should you use cruise control in the rain?

No, using cruise control in the rain is not advised. Wet conditions make roads slippery, requiring you to adjust your speed often and sometimes quite suddenly. Cruise control isn’t able to make these quick, necessary adjustments. Using it could increase the risk of losing control of your car or hydroplaning.

3. Is adaptive cruise control worth it?

The worth of Adaptive Cruise Control depends on your driving conditions and personal preferences. If you often drive on highways or in moderate traffic, ACC can be a big help. It adjusts your car’s speed to keep a safe distance from the car in front, reducing stress and enhancing safety. However, getting ACC for your car often costs more, so consider your budget too.

4. Is adaptive cruise control safe?

Yes, Adaptive Cruise Control can improve safety by maintaining a safe distance from the car in front of you. However, it doesn’t eliminate the need for you to be alert and ready to take control at any moment. It’s a support tool, not a substitute for active, responsible driving. Like any tech, it might have occasional glitches, so always keep your eyes on the road.

5. When to use cruise control?

Cruise control is best used on long, straight stretches of road, like highways, where you don’t need to stop frequently. It’s great for maintaining a constant speed, which can prevent speeding tickets and improve fuel efficiency. However, avoid using cruise control in heavy traffic, bad weather, or on curvy or hilly roads. Always stay fully alert, even when using cruise control.

Related Articles

Car Loses Power While Driving

v3cars

  • Upcoming Cars
  • Popular Cars
  • Latest Cars
  • Electric Cars
  • Latest News
  • Compare Cars
  • Variant Explained
  • Review Videos
  • Compare Videos
  • Variants Explained Videos
  • More Videos
  • Auto Expo Videos
  • V3Cars YouTube Channel
  • Expert Review
  • Comparison Review
  • Features Explained
  • User Review
  • Car Loan EMI Calculator
  • Fuel Cost Calculator
  • Buy / Renew Car Insurance
  • Fuel Price in India
  • Apply for Car Loan
  • Mileage Calculator
  • Car On-Road Price
  • Sell Used Car

Login to V3Cars

Sign Up to V3Cars

This is necessary to personalise results for you

OTP has been sent to

Select City

Cruise Control - Feature, Pros & Cons, Working Explained

  • 27 January 2024
  • By Nikil Jonathan

In this Feature Explained article, we’ll present the most detailed analysis of the cruise control feature in your car. We’ll list out the pros and cons of cruise control, explain how it works, provide the typical cost of getting the cruise control feature from the aftermarket and its repair and replacement costs. Based on this analysis, you can decide the importance of this feature for your car ownership experience.

Cruise Control

We have also included a list of affordable cars in India with cruise control to help you make informed purchasing decisions.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Cruise Control?

Cruise control, the automotive equivalent of a rice cooker, can be a blessing on long highway drives. But like any powerful tool, it comes with its own set of challenges. Let's dive into the pros and cons of using cruise control to help you decide if it's the right fit for your driving style.

The pros or advantages of cruise control are:

  • Effortless Speed: Say goodbye to constant foot adjustments! Cruise control maintains your desired speed, reducing fatigue and leg strain on long journeys. Think of it as an extended chai break for your feet.
  • Fuel Efficiency Friend: Consistent speed translates to optimal fuel economy. Cruise control minimises unnecessary acceleration and braking, leading to potentially improved mileage.
  • Highway Hero: On open roads with steady traffic flow, cruise control takes the edge off long drives. It can help you avoid unintentional speeding and keeps you relaxed, making the journey less stressful.

The cons or disadvantages of cruise control are:

  • Drowsiness Danger: The hypnotic hum of constant speed can lull even the most alert driver into a false sense of security. Remember, cruise control doesn't replace the need for active engagement and vigilance.
  • Road Reality Check: Cruise control isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. It struggles on winding roads, highways with varying speed limits, or unpredictable conditions. Be prepared to disengage quickly when the road throws you a curveball.
  • Distraction Magnet: With your foot off the throttle, it's tempting to multitask or zone out. Remember, you're still the captain of the ship! Stay focused on the road and keep your eyes peeled for potential hazards.

Remember: Cruise control is a tool, not a magic spell. Use it responsibly, stay alert, and be prepared to take the wheel when needed.

What Is Cruise Control?

Forget aching legs and a leaden foot! Cruise control is your saviour on long highway journeys, taking over the tedious job of maintaining speed and letting you relax behind the wheel. Here's how to turn this helpful feature into your highway driving ally:

1. Autopilot Engaged: Ditch the constant pedalling. Cruise control lets you set a desired speed, then handles the throttle input, keeping you cruising effortlessly.

2. Safety First: Cruise control isn't autopilot! Cruise control disengages when you tap the brake, ensuring you're always in control. Just remember to manually reactivate it if you want to pick up the pace again.

3. Fine-Tuning Your Cruise: Feeling a little fast or slow? The "+" and "-" buttons are your speed adjustment tools. Need a quick burst to pass? Simply press the accelerator, and cruise control temporarily suspends itself.

4. Weather Wise: While cruise control is perfect for smooth highways, remember it's not your all-weather companion. Heavy rain, low visibility, or unpredictable conditions are best tackled with good old-fashioned manual driving.

5. Know Your Controls: Before hitting the road, familiarise yourself with your car's specific cruise control buttons. Consult your owner's manual to avoid fumbling while driving.

Cruise control isn't just for long hauls anymore. It's your highway driving hero, reducing fatigue, improving fuel efficiency, and letting you enjoy the journey.

How Does Cruise Control Work?

Modern cars that ply our roads today have drive-by-wire accelerators. This means that our inputs on the accelerator pedal only provide an electrical signal to the car's on-board computers. These clever conductors then interpret your signal, determining the ideal fuel-air mixture to reach your desired speed.

Now, enter cruise control. In a car equipped with this feature, the computers store this "desired speed" as their baseline. They continuously monitor your actual speed using sensors on the wheels. Any deviation up or down triggers a micro-adjustment in the fuel-air mixture, gently nudging the car back to accelerate or decelerate as required.

How Expensive Is It To Repair Or Replace Cruise Control?

The cruise control feature does not typically fail as this is a software-based feature. At best, the only costs associated with maintaining the cruise control feature in your car is if you have somehow managed to break the cruise control stalk or the buttons on the steering wheel that lets you activate this feature. In such instances, you will need to replace the switchgear, which could cost you up to Rs. 15,000 - Rs. 20,000.

Ultimately, the cost of repairing or replacing cruise control can vary widely depending on several factors, including:

  • The extent of the problem: Is it a minor issue like a faulty switch or a major malfunction of the control module? More complex repairs will naturally be more expensive.
  • Your car's make and model: Different car models have different cruise control systems and parts, with some being more costly than others.
  • Labour costs: The location and rates of the repair shop you choose will affect the labour cost involved.
  • Whether you choose original parts or aftermarket replacements: Generally, original parts are more expensive than aftermarket options, but they may also be of higher quality and offer better compatibility.

Here are some tips for minimising the cost:

  • Get a diagnosis: Before committing to any repairs, have a qualified mechanic diagnose the problem to determine the exact cause and the associated cost.
  • Shop around: Compare prices from different repair shops to find the best deal.
  • Consider aftermarket parts: For minor repairs, using high-quality aftermarket parts can be a more affordable option.
  • Check your warranty: Some car warranties may cover cruise control repairs or replacements.

What Is The Cost Of Aftermarket Cruise Control?

Adding aftermarket cruise control might seem tempting, but consider the pitfalls before installing an aftermarket kit. Here's why factory-fitted cruise control is the smoother and safer route:

1. Installation: Installing aftermarket cruise control, especially in cars without existing variants featuring it, can be a technical challenge. Incompatible parts, complex wiring, and modifications to the steering wheel or steering column can lead to frustration and potential malfunctions.

2. Safety First, Always: Cruise control manages your car's speed, making its performance critical. Opting for an aftermarket solution introduces potential risks as compatibility and quality might not match manufacturer standards, jeopardising your safety and vehicle stability.

3. Warranty Woes: Installing aftermarket cruise control often voids your car's manufacturer warranty. That means any issues arising from the add-on become your responsibility, potentially leading to costly repairs.

4. Factory Finesse: Choosing a car with factory-installed cruise control offers peace of mind. These systems are seamlessly integrated with your car's electronics, ensuring optimal performance, compatibility, and most importantly, safety.

How Easy Or Complex Is It To Install Cruise Control?

The cruise control feature comes fitted from the factory. It is nearly impossible to add this feature once you have bought a car that does not have cruise control. However, if you have broken the controls to this feature, replacing the cruise control stalks or the steering wheel switchgear could take between 3-5 hours depending on the proficiency of the mechanic working on your car. We recommend carrying out such repairs at authorised service centres only. 

What Are Some Affordable Cars In India With Cruise Control?

Here are the cars and their variants priced under Rs. 10.0 lakh that offer cruise control in India:

  • Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Sportz
  • Tata Punch Accomplished
  • Hyundai Aura SX
  • Tata Altroz XT
  • Hyundai Exter SX
  • Maruti Suzuki Swift ZXI Plus
  • Hyundai i20 Sportz
  • Nissan Magnite XV Premium
  • Honda Amaze VX
  • Maruti Suzuki Dzire SXI
  • Maruti Suzuki Baleno Alpha
  • Toyota Glanza V
  • Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Delta
  • Hyundai i20 N Line N6
  • Renault Kiger RXZ

Note : Check your car’s fuel cost with Fuel Cost Calculator in India

Verdict - Should I Get Cruise Control From The Aftermarket?

The cruise control feature is nearly impossible to install from the aftermarket if none of the variants of your car have this feature. Even if you find a workshop willing to take up this job, be warned that this will be installed using aftermarket kits that aren’t tested or calibrated by your car’s manufacturer. Hence, we recommend spending a bit more and buying the variant that offers this feature. Cruise control is especially useful for car owners who frequently drive on the highways. However, if you mostly drive within the city, then you can skip this feature altogether.

Note: Check your Car EMI with our - Car Loan EMI Calculator

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nikil Jonathan

Nikil Jonathan

Nikil's a huge fan of classic cars, especially Italian beauties such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint and the Iso Grifo. His love for cars and bikes originated when he first laid his eyes on a poster of the Ferrari F40 and the MV Agusta F4 when he was just a child. He also loves all things analogue, especially vintage cameras and turntables.

Maruti brezza zdi cruise installation

Balino 2016 automatic Give me price cruse control

Leave a Reply

Post Comment

Get updates and price details of on launch:

Customer Viewpoint Ratings and Reviews

Who leaves ratings and reviews?

Ratings and reviews are provided by customers who have either purchased a vehicle or visited a dealership for service.

How are ratings and reviews collected?

Customers are invited to participate in a survey administered by MaritzCX, an independent, third-party supplier.

Can dealerships edit or remove reviews?

No. Ford personnel and/or dealership personnel cannot modify or remove reviews.

Are reviews modified or monitored before being published?

MaritzCX moderates public reviews to ensure they contain content that meet Review guidelines, such as:

‣No Profanity or inappropriate defamatory remarks

‣No Personal Identifying information (e.g., customer phone number or email)

‣No Competitor references (e.g., another brand or dealership)

‣Dangerous behavior (e.g. threatening to harm employees or others)

‣Lack of adequate text (e.g., symbols, emoji’s and random letters)

Reviews on the product and not the customer’s Sales or Service experience

  • Electric Vehicles
  • Pay my bill
  • Update my SYNC
  • Replace a Part

How do I use Cruise Control * in my Ford?

When activated, Cruise Control lets you maintain a set speed without keeping your foot on the accelerator pedal. You can use Cruise Control when your vehicle speed is greater than 20 mph.

The cruise controls are on the steering wheel. **

Setting the Cruise Control Speed

  • Press  ON  on the cruise control switch on your steering wheel.

Cruise Control Indicator Light

  • Drive to your desired speed.
  • Press  SET .
  • Take your foot off the accelerator.

Changing the Set Speed

  • Press  SET  to change the set speed in small increments.
  • Press and hold either button to change the set speed in large increments. Release the button when you reach the speed you prefer.
  • Press the accelerator or brake pedal until you reach the speed you prefer. Press  SET .
  • Press the accelerator or brake pedal until you reach the desired speed. Press  SET .

Canceling Cruise Control

Press the Cancel   (CNCL)  or X button on the steering wheel or apply the brakes.

Resuming Cruise Control

To resume after canceling, press the RES  button.

Beyond Conventional Cruise Control

I f your vehicle is equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control , it can let you maintain a preset speed and distance from the vehicle ahead.  

Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go  technology not only lets you keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead, it can also help you come to a complete stop.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering adds Lane Centering that can detect lane marking to help you keep your vehicle centered in the lane.

Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control  includes the features of Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Lane Centering and adds Speed Sign Recognition, which can automatically adjust the set speed of your vehicle to the posted speed limit.  

Additional Information

What is Speed Sign Recognition?

  * Driver-assist features are supplemental and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgment, and need to control the vehicle. See your  Owner’s Manual  for details and limitations.

** Location and appearance of buttons may vary. See your Owner's Manual  for information specific to your vehicle.

TopSpeed

15 Motorcycles With Cruise Control

I f you know how to drive a car, you probably already know what cruise control is. You get up to your desired speed, set the cruise control, and allow the vehicle to do the work. There's no need to step on the gas, and it makes cruising more enjoyable by reducing the work and helping you achieve better gas mileage.

What if you could have these benefits on your motorcycle? Fortunately, with some modern motorcycles, you can. These bikes come ready for cruising and long-distance riding on the highway thanks to cruise control being included as a standard feature. Try it for yourself with these fifteen motorcycles, or check around for yourself and find a model that you like. There are numerous bikes that have come out for the 2023 model year that have this feature built in.

Updated April 2023: A substantial number of bikes on the market have cruise control as a standard or offer it as an optional component, so it is hard to write about just a few. That is why it was decided to add a few more to a list that needed updating anyway. So, below, you will find the original ten motorcycles with cruise control and a few new ones that have been added.

Related: Most Expensive Motorcycles In 2023

Cruiser: Harley-Davidson Sportster S

The Harley-Davidson Sportster S is the bright shining star of the Harley lineup , yt may not be the biggest bike produced by Harley, but it is definitely the sportiest. This punchy little bike is incredibly popular because it offers the perfect combination of performance and comfort. It has a surprising amount of agility for a cruiser. You may not use the cruise control while cruising around town, however, it will come in handy when you get out on the open roads on the weekend. The Revolution Max 1250T engine powers the Sportster outfitted with traction control, drag-torque slip control, wheel lift mitigation, and cornering enhancement.

Cruiser: Indian FTR

The cruiser title is a bit unfair for the Indian FTR, as it has a 1,203cc liquid-cooled V-twin engine that packs plenty of punch. Cruise control is only a natural addition; as Indian claims, this is the "do anything" bike. Thanks to improved rider ergonomics, you can comfortably and confidently cruise around town, commute to work, or conquer the mountain twisties. The base FTR model is pretty bare-bones, however, the FTR Sport and FTR R Carbon have ride modes, lean-sensitive stability control, cornering pre-control, and wheelie mitigation.

Cruiser: Ducati XDiavel

The Ducati XDiavel is the Italian version of a cruiser , the overall riding position is more upright and relaxed, a departure from the traditional forward tuck we typically see on a Ducati. However, the XDiavel doesn't tread too far from Ducati tradition regarding technology and performance. In addition to cruise control, it has a ride-by-wire system, power launch, and Bosch IMU.

Cruiser: Honda Rebel 1100

The Honda Rebel is one of the most popular cruisers on the road today , it is low and light, and the engine is lively with plenty of torque. Your body will relax into the saddle as you make your way around the back country roads. The Rebel has a fresh new take on cruiser motorcycles with a blacked-out style. It comes equipped with cruise control, anti-lock brakes, and wheelie control. There is even a USB-C port under the seat, making it easy to charge your devices while on the go.

Related: Cruiser Motorcycles To Watch Out For In 2023

Adventure Bike: BMW R 1250 GS Adventure

It should come as no surprise that the BMW R1250 GS Adventure comes with cruise control. This is just one of many technology features that BMW has packed into the bike , for example, the headlights fully swivel to be adaptive for maximum road illumination. What makes BMW adventure bikes so popular is their rider comfort. You can customize the seat height, adjust the handlebar height, and there is a selection of seats that you can choose from. The increased comfort instills confidence in the rider. In addition, the comfortable riding position and engine reliability allow riders to travel further.

Adventure Bike: Yamaha Super Tenere

The Yamaha Super Tenere is a legendary adventure touring motorcycle that has proven itself year after year , while you probably won't use cruise control during the off-road stints, it will be handy on the pavement. The Super Tenere shines when you challenge it with an epic cross-country trip. Powering the bike is a cross-plane crankshaft engine designed to withstand rugged riding conditions. Yamaha ensures riders are ready with included cruise control, electronic suspension, traction control, advanced fuel injection, and rider-friendly ergonomics.

Adventure Bike: Ducati Multistrada V4 S

The radar adaptive cruise control takes a little getting used to when first driving this bike because when it senses that you are within a specific distance of another vehicle, it will automatically back off the throttle. Yes, it makes it safer for you while on the roads, but it can sometimes become frustrating when trying to reach your destination.

Related: 10 Reasons Why The Ducati Multistrada V4 Is The Most High-Tech Adventure Bike

Naked Bike: Yamaha MT-09 SP

You wouldn't expect the Yamaha MT-09 SP to have cruise control. However, this gritty inner-city prowler has this convenient feature and much more. The MT-09 SP is like a new era for Yamaha , Yamaha engineers put in some serious work revamping this bike, and thankfully, they listened to the people. The result is a bike that has a lighter and more powerful engine. The torquey response will make you smile as you remember how fun motorcycles can be. There are three ride modes, plenty of rider aides, and cruise control.

Naked Bike: CFMoto 700CL-X

This Chinese-engineered bike is relatively new to the States, but the CFMOTO 700 CL-X has been overseas for more than a few years. It is a motorcycle designed with all the tech that could be imagined at a surprisingly low entry-level price. It has a 74 horsepower liquid-cooled engine that can push out up to 50.2 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 RPM.

Sport Bike: Kawasaki ZX-10R

The Kawasaki ZX-10R may stem from Kawasaki's years of racing experience, but it shines on the road too , this liter bike has a laundry list of features, making it a great value. In addition to the electronic cruise control, it comes with launch control, engine brake control, cornering management, and traction control. These rider-assist features help the bike perform better while riding on the street or testing your skills on the track. Twist the throttle and feel the smooth power delivery from the 998cc engine.

Sport Bike: Aprilia RS 660

Sport bikes are not as popular as they once were, but there are still a number of bike enthusiasts out there that will ride nothing but a sport bike. One of the best sports bikes to hit the market in the last decade or so has to be the Aprilia RS 660 that brings all the available technology to the table, including cruise control and a powerful 100 horsepower 660cc engine that delivers an incredible experience.

Touring Bike: Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring

The Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring is a bike that may not turn heads, but what it lacks in style, it makes up for in performance. Built for riding long distances, cruise control is a natural feature to include. It is just one of the many creature comforts that make this a luxury motorcycle. The saddlebags boast an impressive 9+ gallons of storage. Then there is the smartphone connectivity that lets you view the bike's data with a tap of a finger.

Touring Bike: Honda Gold Wing

Since the early 70s, the Honda Gold Wing has been one of the premier touring bikes on the market. Since the 80s, it has been one of the few bikes that always offered cruise control as a standard feature because the people at Honda knew how important comfort is to consumers when cruising across the country on a motorcycle. The new Gold Wing will continue with this tradition with an optimized cruise control function, along with other innovative technology such as four ride modes, a smart key for keyless access to saddlebags, a tire pressure monitoring system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto integration, and more.

Sport Touring Bike: Yamaha FJR1300

The Yamaha FJR1300 proves you can still have fun riding a touring bike , the cruise control feature is one of the simpler features on this bike. For example, it has lean angle-sensitive LED lighting, traction control, and advanced ride-by-wire fuel injection. In addition, you and your passenger can adjust the seats for maximum riding comfort. The integrated luggage system has a quick-release system, making packing and traveling easier. A nice touch is the fairing glove box. This hidden compartment also has a 12V outlet inside. This makes it perfect for charging electronics or plugging in your heated gear while you ride.

Sport Touring Bike: Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX

Arguably one of the most commonly known sport bikes from decades past is the Kawasaki Ninja, and even today, it is one of the most talked about models around the campfire. The Ninja 1000SX is a newer model that offers you, as a rider, numerous creature comforts such as cruise control, traction control, power modes, ABS, smartphone connectivity, traction control, and more. To top that off, the inline-four 1043cc engine offers 124.3 horsepower at 9500 RPM and 75.4 pound-feet of torque at 8000 RPM. That gives the bike a 0 to 60 time of 2.99 seconds and a quarter-mile sprint of 10.9 seconds.

15 Motorcycles With Cruise Control

IMAGES

  1. What is cruise control and how does it work?

    cruise control features

  2. What is Cruise Control and How To Use It? Live Demo & Explanation

    cruise control features

  3. How To Use Cruise Control

    cruise control features

  4. Adaptive Cruise Control

    cruise control features

  5. Cruise Control Turn Signal Porsche Macan GEN2 Features Overview ( Delivery and Equipment)

    cruise control features

  6. What Is Cruise Control

    cruise control features

COMMENTS

  1. How Cruise Control Systems Work

    There are also several important safety features -- the cruise control will disengage as soon as you hit the brake pedal, and it won't engage at speeds less than 25 mph (40 kph). The system pictured below has five buttons: On, Off, Set/Accel, Resume and Coast.

  2. Cruise control

    Common cruise control icon on dashboards specified by ISO-7000-2047, ISO 2575:2010, and ISO 6727. ... 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 car, but ...

  3. Cruise Control: What It Is, How to Use It (And When Not To)

    What is a Speed Limiter? A speed limiter will limit how fast the driver can accelerate behind the wheel. All modern vehicles contain a standard speed limiter capping speed between 120 mph and 180 mph depending to protect the vehicle's engine and discourage reckless driving.

  4. How to Use Cruise Control: Specific Things You Need to Know Well

    an electronic system that allows a vehicle to maintain a steady speed set by the driver. Cruise control is designed to be used on roadways without frequent stops. It's ideal for use on highways and long stretches of road with minimal stops or turns. Standard cruise control maintains a set speed until manually overridden.

  5. How to Use Cruise Control Safely

    Getty Images Sixty years after Chrysler introduced the novelty of driving without pressing the gas pedal, cruise control is standard on the vast majority of new cars. Like power locks and...

  6. Cruise Control In Cars Explained (And How To Safely Use It)

    How Does It Work? At its core, cruise control involves a series of sensors that monitor the vehicle's speed and a control unit that regulates the throttle. When the driver sets the cruise control to a specific speed, the system adjusts the throttle to maintain that speed.

  7. Adaptive Cruise Control: What Is It and How Does It Work?

    Depending on the system, here's what else the feature can do: Set the distance. Most systems allow you to set the following distance within parameters like one, two, or three cars. Stop the...

  8. How to Use Cruise Control on a Car: 10 Steps (with Pictures)

    Many cars come with cruise control systems, a great feature that will automatically keep a car driving at a set speed. This gives your feet a rest, and helps you save gas and avoid speeding tickets. Familiarize yourself with your car's cruise control switches, located on or near the steering wheel. Make sure to use cruise control only in safe ...

  9. What is Cruise Control? A Comprehensive Guide

    More Features What is Cruise Control? A Comprehensive Guide When the system is set, cruise control will maintain a steady speed for your vehicle Justin Pritchard Published Nov 11, 2022 •...

  10. How Does The Cruise Control System In Cars Work?

    The cruise control system controls the speed of your car the same way you do - by adjusting the throttle (accelerator) position. However, cruise control engages the throttle valve by a cable connected to an actuator, rather than by pressing a pedal.

  11. How To Use Cruise Control

    Cruise control is a feature on some vehicles that allows the driver to take their foot off the accelerator while the onboard computer maintains the vehicle's speed. Within cruise control, you can typically also adjust your speed up and down using buttons. How does cruise control work?

  12. What is Cruise Control and How Does it Function in a Car?

    2. Speed Control Once the cruise control system is activated, the driver can adjust the speed using speed control buttons. These buttons allow the driver to increase or decrease the set speed in small increments. By pressing the appropriate button, the driver can fine-tune the desired speed for their comfort and road conditions. 3. Resume Button

  13. Guide to Adaptive Cruise Control

    Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is like traditional cruise control, but smarter. ACC systems allow you to set a desired speed until your vehicle encounters slower-moving traffic. Then it will brake ...

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

    Jun 2, 2020 Today's coolest luxury car technologies often become features on mainstream cars tomorrow. Take cruise control as an example; today, nearly every new car has it except for...

  15. How Cruise Control Works and How to Use It

    Cruise control is a feature commonly found in cars and is used to maintain consistent vehicle speed without the need to constantly press the accelerator pedal. This feature is very useful when driving on toll roads or straight highways, because it allows the driver to avoid leg muscle fatigue caused by pressing the accelerator pedal ...

  16. How Does Cruise Control Work?

    Comfort has become a necessity, leading to the invention of features purely for driver convenience—features such as cruise control. Cruise control lets you take your foot off the gas pedal without your car losing speed. With cruise control, you enter the speed, and then the car keeps cruising at that speed. It's bliss for driving long ...

  17. Cruise Control: All you need to know for a relaxed cruise

    Summary FAQs about cruise control What is cruise control? Cruise control is a system that maintains car speeds set by the driver without requiring them to press the accelerator pedal. Moreover, it doesn't let the car go above or below the set speed unless the driver presses the brake or accelerator pedal.

  18. Cruise Control: How it Works, Types and Everything To Know

    How it Works Cruise control works by using a combination of electronic sensors, servos, and control algorithms to maintain a vehicle's speed without requiring the driver to continuously press the accelerator pedal. Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how cruise controle works:

  19. What is Cruise Control?

    Cruise control begins with a set of buttons on the steering wheel that allows the driver to turn the system on and off, set the desired speed, and either increase or reduce speed. The driver sets the speed by pushing the accelerator pedal until the desired speed is reached and hits the 'Set' button. Depending on the age of the vehicle ...

  20. Car Features Explained: Cruise Control and How to Use It

    Cruise control is a helpful feature that makes driving both convenient and safe. More and more cars are equipped with it. Cruise Control, also known as speed control, is designed to assist the driver when running at constant speed in long journeys. It automatically controls the speed of the vehicle and only let the vehicle reach the preset speed.

  21. Cruise Control

    1. Increased fuel economy Fuel efficiency is one of the significant benefits of using cruise control. When you manually control your car's speed, it's natural to have variations, leading to more fuel consumption. The cruise control maintains a steady speed, reducing fuel usage, especially on long highway drives.

  22. What Is Cruise Control

    The cruise control feature does not typically fail as this is a software-based feature. At best, the only costs associated with maintaining the cruise control feature in your car is if you have somehow managed to break the cruise control stalk or the buttons on the steering wheel that lets you activate this feature.

  23. How do I use Cruise Control

    Beyond Conventional Cruise Control. If your vehicle is equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control, it can let you maintain a preset speed and distance from the vehicle ahead. Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go technology not only lets you keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead, it can also help you come to a complete stop.

  24. 15 Motorcycles With Cruise Control

    Built for riding long distances, cruise control is a natural feature to include. It is just one of the many creature comforts that make this a luxury motorcycle. The saddlebags boast an impressive ...

  25. Your Car Needs This Feature To Avoid Accidents » MotorOctane

    Many experts have suggested cruise control and ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) as the solution. While cruise control is effective on long stretches, the function becomes liability on unpredictable Indian roads. As for ADAS, it is a work in progress and relies heavily on well-marked lanes and clear road signages to work effectively.

  26. KhengKheng Motors on Instagram: " 2016 MAZDA ATENZA Call/whatsApp

    18 likes, 0 comments - khengkheng_motors on February 8, 2024: " 2016 MAZDA ATENZA Call/whatsApp::0768130582::0712828565::0757257353 ASKING PRICE: ..."