The Cruise Control option has been a long awaited add-on, in the new vehicles in India. The bad road conditions make it hard for the drivers to engage in to the Cruise Control mode. The Cruise Control is a system that automatically controls the speed of a motor vehicle. The system is a mechanism that takes over the throttle of the car to maintain a steady speed, set by the driver. The driver must bring the vehicle up to a speed manually and use a button engage in to the Cruise Control for the current traveling speed. The Cruise Control takes its speed signal from a rotating driveshaft, speedometer cable, wheel speed sensor from the engines RPM, or from internal speed pulses produced electronically by the vehicle. Most systems do not allow use of the Cruise Control below a certain speed, typically around 40Km. The vehicle will maintain the desired speed by pulling the throttle cable with a solenoid, a vacuum driven mechanism, or by using the electronic systems built into the vehicle if it uses a drive-by-wire system.
There have been many new vehicles offering this system, but when question arises of, how many drivers actually benefit out of this option very few people respond in a positive manner. Most people have said that they have used it on rare occasions, its useful when on a long drive on the highways, which are considered heaven on earth for some drivers. Some drivers use it o avoid subconsciously violating speed limits. A driver who otherwise tends to increase speed unknowingly over the course of a highway journey may avoid speeding. Its a hard task to find some positive responses. Some incidents have proved that using the Cruise Control mode can lead to accidents, as people rely on the mode, as if it were some robot doing all the driving task automatically. While a survey was conducted a person owning a Cruise Control vehicle, said “My driver was reading a newspaper at the time of the minor accident” and when he questioned the driver, as to why he responded “I had the Cruise Control mode, on!”. Such incidents often take place, ending in a major collision or a minor one.
Modern vehicles have the ACC(Adaptive Cruise Control) systems, this is a general term meaning improved Cruise Control. These improvements can be automatic braking or dynamic set-speed type controls. The automatic braking type use either a radar or laser setup to allow the vehicle to keep pace with the vehicle that it is following, slow when closing in on the vehicle in front and accelerating again to the present speed when traffic allows. Some systems also feature forward collision warning systems, which warns the driver if a vehicle in front, given the speed of both the vehicles, gets too close.
Overall, if you are on a highway with free moving traffic and a strict speed limit, you could preferably engage into this mode, the vehicle will continue to drive itself at the set speed. This doesn't mean that the driver is totally free to make a phone call, read, write or what not they do while driving in India, the driver should be prepared to slow down if some obstacle is coming up front or brake if necessary. Accelerating or braking, both way the Cruise Control mode gets disengaged. This mode should be fitted in to the cars, its a thumbs up for that, but the use of it should be strictly used only for highways in regard to the Indian road conditions. Finally, it is up to the drivers choice of drive, but giving it a serious thought before engaging in the mode in city limits would be nice.
There have been various, mixed opinions on whether 'Cruise Control' option is necessary and is there a demand, due to the road conditions in our country.
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