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Cruise Control in a Car: Everything You Need to Know

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Imagine cruising down a highway on a long drive without even having to actually put the work in! It's a possibility with the nifty cruise control feature. Cruise control has been popular for decades but has slowly driven into the hearts of Indian drivers in the past few years.

While cruise control in cars is useful on North American and European roads, it's still gaining popularity on Indian roads because of the growing infrastructure of Indian roads. As Indian roads and highways continue to evolve, car cruise control will become a popular addition to cars in India!  Learn more about car cruise control in this article, where we explore what this feature is, what it offers you, and where it's available in India. Let's cruise right in!

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Contents

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What is Cruise Control?

Cruise control is an electronic system which allows the driver to take their foot off the accelerator pedal and lock it at a specific speed. This electronic system is highly intuitive and drives exactly like a human driver.

Another pressing question is what makes this electronic device so intelligent and intuitive. The cruise control system uses an actuator which controls the accelerator allowing the car to continue driving at a set speed. The actuator is connected to the throttle via a cable.

During cruise control, the cable is not just monitoring the car’s speed but also the power of the engine. It ensures that the engine takes in the exact amount of air required to continue cruising at the set speed. With the advancement in technology, actuator systems have evolved. In many cars, the actuator is powered by a small electronically controlled vacuum valve instead of being controlled by a cable. The vacuum pressure holds the position of the throttle, allowing hands-free cruising of the car.

How Cruise Control Works 

Car cruise control works when a driver sets a certain speed for the car to "cruise" at. The vehicle maintains this speed by controlling the throttle to the accelerator link. Since you aren't putting your pedal to the metal, obviously, the vehicle needs to bridge this missing link. To replace your foot pressing against the accelerator, your car deploys the action needed to activate the accelerator valve to maintain the speed you've set for the car. 

Generally, cars move when you press the accelerator, introducing varying amounts of air depending on how fast you want to drive. In Cruise Control mode, your car makes sure the throttle valve is moving at a steady pace. This happens with a cable that's linked to the throttle valve instead of your foot to the pedal. Pretty neat, huh?

Cruise Control Settings

Cruise control systems come ready for cruising fun on Indian roads. Although these systems vary by vehicle make and model, they usually consist of the same or similar components. 

You'll find your Cruise Control settings in or around your steering wheel. Some vehicles may include a separate shaft on your car along with the windshield wiper and indicator. Other cars may have cruise control buttons on your steering wheel or on the dashboard - check your vehicle or manual for more details. 

Regardless of where the cruise control system is located in your car, they're governed by the same mechanisms. There will be an ON and OFF button(s), a SET button, a RESUME button, and a CANCEL button. Sometimes, you may get extra buttons to speed up or slow down while in cruise control mode. 

At any time during your drive, if you want to drive manually, you can "stop" cruise control by pressing the clutch and/or accelerator.

Operating Cruise Control 

When you're ready to hit the road and leave the driving to your car, follow these steps for a safe, fun, and simple drive! 

  1. Set Cruise Control Speed

    1. Turn your car on and start driving until you hit a speed that you want the car's cruise control to maintain 

    2. Select the SET cruise control button to lock in the speed

  2.  Relax 

    1. Take your foot off the pedal and allow your car to automatically govern speed and velocity 

  3. Quick Pause While Cruising 

    1. Need to slam on the brakes? Just hit the brakes and resume Cruise Control with the RES/Resume button 

  4. Manual Override 

    1. If you want to start driving sans cruise control, just deploy your clutch or accelerator 

    2. You can select the CAN/Cancel button to stop cruise control as well

    3. Finally, you can turn off the Cruise control with the OFF button 

  5. Speed Up or Slow Down

    1. If you want to go faster or slower, just press the "+" or "-" button while you're in Cruise Control mode 

    2. In other vehicles, drive faster or slower and press the SET button to lock in the new speed

What is Adaptive Cruise Control?

The adaptive cruise control takes the cruise control technology a step ahead. It automatically regulates the cruising speed of the car depending on the vehicle in front. Not only does it control the speed, but it also ensures that there is adequate distance between the car and the vehicle in the front. Adaptive cruise control is very beneficial for people who commute long distances. Another advantage of adaptive cruise control is that it works perfectly fine within city traffic. During peak traffic hours, the driver can save themself from fatigue.

When to Use Cruise Control in a Car?

Using cruise control while commuting through a highway in clear weather is advisable. If you wish to use cruise control within city limits, adaptive cruise control will be a better choice. You must note that you do not use the cruise control system in adverse weather conditions like heavy rains, thunderstorms, and snow. During these conditions, the visibility on the road is very low, making it unsafe for the car to cruise at high speed.

Takeaway

Cruise control in a car has been built keeping in mind comfort and safety. However, as a driver driving on cruise control, you must remain attentive with your eyes on the road for a safe drive. Additionally, ensure you have a relevant car insurance policy to protect against third-party liabilities and accidental damages to your car in case of unfortunate events like road accidents and collisions. If you are looking for a car insurance plan, explore ACKO now. You can browse our insurance plans and select one according to your specific needs and requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions-Cruise Control in a Car: Everything You Need to Know

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Is cruise control safe?

Cruise control is safe when operated in safe driving conditions, by drivers with valid licenses who are sober and able to drive and use cruise control. Always make sure to keep your eyes on the road, your vehicle cannot make driving decisions - you'll need to step in if need be.

Where can I use cruise control?

Cruise control is meant to be used on straight stretches of roads and highways. They are not designed for curved roads or obstacles.

Is cruise control useful?

Cruise control is beneficial for those who commute long distances very frequently. It may help the driver ward off fatigue and safely reach the destination.

Can adaptive cruise control completely stop the vehicle?

If the vehicle in the front appears suddenly and comes too close to the car, adaptive cruise control will stop the vehicle to avoid a collision.  

Can adaptive cruise control be used at night?

Using cruise control at night is not advisable because visibility can be abysmal. Allowing the car to maintain the same speed can be risky during night-time.

Is cruise control in a car suitable for Indian roads?

Cruise control can be effectively used on national highways and expressways in India. However, on smaller lanes and state highways, the chances of unforeseeable factors like cattle, dogs, stopped vehicles, etc., are very high, so ensure safety.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making any related decisions.

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