What is cruise control function? How to use and recommended vehicles | MOBY [モビー]

What is cruise control function?

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“Cruise control” is a function that maintains a preset speed while driving a car without depressing the accelerator pedal. In recent years, it has been incorporated into many automobiles on the premise of reducing the burden on the driver and assisting functions.

The cruise control installed in conventional cars was a function to keep the set speed constant, and was limited to high-speed driving and when there was a certain inter-vehicle distance.

However, follow-up cruise controls such as Subaru’s “EyeSight”, Toyota’s “Radar Cruise Control”, and Nissan’s “Intelligent Cruise Control” have appeared in recent years.

Equipped with millimeter wave radar and camera sensor

Cruise control is equipped with a sensor called “millimeter-wave radar” that measures the distance, angle, speed, etc. to an object using extremely high-frequency radio waves. to detect.

One of the features of millimeter-wave radar is that it is less susceptible to adverse weather conditions such as dense fog and adverse lighting conditions such as backlight, due to the use of high-frequency radio waves.

In addition, there is a method of recognizing vehicles and obstacles in front by using a “photochemical camera sensor” and digitizing the road conditions obtained from the camera. There are two types: a “stereo camera” with two cameras side by side and a “monocular camera” with only one camera.

The technology used for cruise control introduced above has been adopted for “follow-up cruise control”, and it is currently becoming mainstream as a more accurate “vehicle distance control device” that uses a combination of millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera.

What is adaptive cruise control (ACC)?

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Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is a mechanism that allows the vehicle to drive at a constant speed and adjust the speed while following the vehicle in front.

In addition, ACC is an abbreviation for “adaptive cruise control”, and a system that uses a dedicated sensor and a CPU (computer) installed in the car automatically performs both accelerator and brake operations to support driving. It will be one of the mechanisms to do.

This function can be used together with the “millimeter wave radar” and “camera sensor” introduced above to detect the preceding vehicle and adjust the following distance.

Follow-up cruise control is one of the functions that has been developed for the purpose of reducing the burden on and assisting the driver and is adopted and implemented by many manufacturers.

How to use cruise control


How to use standard cruise control

The operation switch of the normal type cruise control is installed as a lever on the steering surface or on the side of the column. This time, we will introduce how to use it assuming the case of the lever on the side of the column.

  1. Turn on the cruise control main switch next to the lever.
  2. Confirm that the cruise control icon lights up on the display screen (meter part).
  3. If you want to set the speed to 50km/h, lower the lever in the SET direction when the target speed is reached to complete the setting. *Cruise control has a settable speed (e.g. within about 40-100km)
  4. When the setting is completed, loosen the accelerator pedal and check if you can run at a constant speed.

Acceleration/deceleration of speed can be accelerated by raising the lever in the upward direction indicated by RES, and decelerated by lowering it in the downward direction of SET.

To cancel the cruise control function, step on the brake, turn off the main switch, and pull the cancel switch toward you.

How to use follow-up cruise control

In the case of the follow-up type, there are some differences depending on the manufacturer, but the basic operation method is the same. As an example, we will introduce how to use Nissan’s intelligent cruise control.

The operation switch of the follow-up cruise control is mainly installed on the steering wheel surface.

The switches include the main switch that activates the cruise control, a cancel button that stops the function, a button that sets the vehicle speed, and a button that keeps the distance from the vehicle in front.

  1. Turn on the cruise control main switch to activate the function.
  2. If you want to set the speed to 100km/h, accelerate or decelerate to that speed and press the set button to set the cruise control at 100km/h.
  3. In the set state, even if you step on the accelerator and accelerate, it will decelerate and adjust to the set speed, and even if the vehicle in front decelerates or accelerates, it will decelerate or accelerate in the same way, keeping a constant distance between vehicles and the set speed and continuing running. It becomes possible.
  4. If you want to accelerate the speed, you can increase the set speed by pressing the reset button installed above the set button.
  5. Conversely, if you want to slow down, you can adjust by pressing the set button.

If you want to cancel the cruise control function, step on the brake or press the cancel button on the switch.

Scenes where it is convenient to use cruise control


Cruise control is one of the very excellent functions that reduce the burden on the driver and assist in various situations.

We will introduce a convenient scene as a scene where this function can be used effectively.

People who use expressways a lot

Highways are one of the scenes where the cruise control function is greatly demonstrated.

The reason is that there are few stop-and-go traffic lights and stop lines, and depending on traffic conditions, it is possible to keep running at a constant speed.

For those who frequently use the expressway for commuting, business trips, travel, etc., the cruise control function, which maintains a constant speed and eliminates the need to control the accelerator, is a convenient scene that reduces stress and the burden of driving. Isn’t there?

highway traffic jam

Traffic jams are expected in the city center and rush hours when returning home during long vacations, but always keeping a distance from the vehicle in front and controlling the accelerator will put a heavy burden on you both mentally and physically.

Unlike conventional cruise control, if it is a follow-up type, it will adjust the distance from the vehicle in front and decelerate / accelerate, so the burden on the driver will be greatly reduced.

However, the cruise control function is disabled on some vehicles when the set speed drops below 30km/h. We recommend that you purchase a vehicle with a “all speed tracking function”.

Those who drive too fast

On highways and roads with long straight lines, it is easy to drive too fast.

By using the cruise control function even in situations where speed is likely to occur, you can maintain a constant speed and reduce the risk of overspeeding.

In particular, the computer slows down the speed so that it does not exceed the set speed even in situations where the speed naturally increases, such as downhill. I will give it to you.

Scenes where cruise control does not work or cannot be controlled


As an aside, I will introduce the situation when the cruise control does not work or cannot be controlled, using Nissan’s intelligent cruise control as an example.

  • When the vehicle speed is below approximately 30 km/h and no preceding vehicle is detected.
  • When the selector lever is in a position other than D or B
  • When the parking brake is applied
  • when depressing the brake pedal
  • When the field of view of the camera is obstructed by rain, snow, fog, or frozen or dirty windshield in front of the camera.
  • When the wipers are operated at high speed
  • When the camera is exposed to strong light (sunlight, etc.) from the front

If the above items cannot be controlled, and if the cruise control function cannot be used or the vehicle stops in the middle, these causes are possible.

Does cruise control improve fuel economy?

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One of the ways to improve fuel efficiency is to keep the accelerator operation constant.

Cruise control tends to improve fuel efficiency by accelerating and decelerating without waste by using technology that combines cameras and radar.

On the JAF official website, as a result of comparing and measuring fuel consumption figures when using ACC on highways and when not using ACC, there is data that using ACC improves fuel efficiency figures by up to 12%.

The reason is that it is very difficult for the driver to intentionally maintain 100km/h in terms of maintaining a constant speed, and it is necessary to perform fine accelerator control and brake operation.

In the case of ACC, it is possible to realize high-speed cruising with a small number of operations by operating a computer instead of a human.

Names and installation examples of cruise control of each manufacturer

Cruise control names by manufacturer

Toyota radar cruise control
Nissan intelligent cruise control
Subaru Eyesight
Honda adaptive cruise control
mitsubishi e-assist
Suzuki active cruise control
Mercedes-Benz Distance Pilot Distronic
Volkswagen adaptive cruise control
BMW active cruise control
volvo adaptive cruise control

Example of cruise control installed by manufacturer

nissan skyline

nissan skyline

The “Skyline”, which appeared as a new model in April 2019, is equipped with advanced driver assistance technology “Autonomous Driving Pro Pilot 2.0”.

The previous year model was equipped with ACC “intelligent cruise control”, so whether you are a current car or a car from the previous generation, you can enjoy cruise control in addition to the luxurious ride comfort of the Skyline. I can.

Nissan X-Trail

The T31 X-Trail is equipped with a conventional cruise control, allowing it to run at a constant speed (40-100km/h).

The T32 X-Trail, which is positioned as the current car, has a lineup of advanced technology “autonomous driving ProPILOT” by grade.

Nissan Rooks

The new Days and Lukes released in 2020 will also be set by grade, but they are equipped with an automatic driving pro pilot in combination with intelligent cruise control.

toyota aqua

The compact hatchback Aqua is equipped with a “radar cruise control” for each grade.

It has an all-vehicle speed tracking function that uses both a millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera, and can be stopped and restarted.

toyota roomy

Grade-specific “adaptive cruise control” is standard equipment. ACC with all vehicle speed tracking function.

Suzuki Wagon R

It will be set by grade, but it will be a car equipped with “cruise control”. It is possible to run at a constant speed of the set speed (45-100km/h).

suzuki swift

In 2017, the 4th generation Swift was released as the current model. Swift is divided into normal “adaptive cruise control” and “with all vehicle speed tracking function” by grade.

Recommended domestic models with cruise control

Toyota Yaris Cross

The Yaris Cross, a compact crossover vehicle released in 2020, will be an SUV with excellent driving performance and off-road performance.

As a feature, it is equipped with a rich safety support system along with excellent fuel efficiency performance, and it is equipped with a “radar cruise control” that uses a millimeter-wave radar and a monocular camera.

Since it comes with an all-vehicle speed tracking function, it is one that greatly contributes to reducing the burden on the driver even when driving long distances on the expressway or in unexpected traffic jams.

price Gasoline X1.5, CVT, 2WD: 1,896,000 yen
cruise control Radar cruise (with all vehicle speed tracking function)

Honda Fit

The 4th generation “Fit”, which was released after minor changes in 2021, is a compact car with a history of less than 20 years since the first generation, the first generation, appeared in 2001.

One of the features is that all types are equipped with the safety support system “Honda Sensing” as standard, and ACC (adaptive cruise control) is also installed.

price e: HEV BASIC: 1,997,600 yen
cruise control Adaptive cruise control (with traffic congestion following function)

Subaru Levorg

The second-generation Levorg, which appeared after a full model change in 2020, is equipped with EyeSight X, which has a high safety performance rating.

EyeSight X is a new-generation EyeSight equipped with an advanced driving support system that utilizes GPS, location information from Quasi-Zenith Satellite Michibiki, and 3D high-precision map data.

This is a function that assists driving on expressways, and unlike conventional driving assistance, it is an “advanced driving assistance system” that incorporates various driving assistance.

price GT: 3,102,000 yen
cruise control Eyesight X

Can cruise control be retrofitted?


Cruise control functions using cameras and radar can be retrofitted to vehicles that do not have them. However, there are some models that are compatible with it, so whether or not it can be retrofitted depends on the car.

Although we do not recommend retrofitting it as a manufacturer option or at dealers, one example is the throttle control with an auto-cruise function that can be retrofitted to the “3-drive AC” sold by the automotive equipment manufacturer “PIVOT”. I have.

This 3-drive AC is not the current mainstream follow-up type cruise control, but can run with the conventional set values.

This throttle control is a function that enables sports driving and fuel-efficient driving by freely controlling the response of the part that detects the accelerator opening called “electronically controlled throttle”.

This 3-drive 3 is sold for less than 20,000 yen, so if your car is a target model, it might be a good idea to try DIY.

If you are not confident in the installation work that requires securing a power supply and wiring, it is one of the effective means to ask a professional to install it. Let’s think that the installation cost is around 10,000 to 20,000 yen, not including the cost of parts.

Notes on using cruise control


Cruise control is one of the functions designed to reduce the burden on the driver and assist the driver.

If the driver himself/herself overestimates the function and becomes dependent on it, there is a possibility of getting involved in an unexpected accident or trouble.

As stated in the notes on using cruise control on the manufacturer’s official website, cruise control is not intended in situations where bad weather, frozen roads, unpaved roads, and white lines cannot be fully recognized. This may result in a situation in which normal control cannot be performed, such as being canceled without warning or false detection.

The benefits of using cruise control to reduce the burden on the driver are great, but it is necessary to drive carefully without overconfidence as one of the assist functions.

[By the way]What is the first Japanese car to adopt cruise control?

Toyota Crown Eight “Electric Auto Drive”

Do you know that cruise control, one of the driving support systems that are becoming mainstream today, has a long history?

Its roots began when the “Toyota Crown Eight”, which appeared in 1964, was first adopted under the name “Electric Auto Drive”.

The operating principle is similar to cruise control, which is the mainstream today, and by setting the control switch, it is possible to run at a constant speed of 50 to 120 km / h regardless of road undulations.

Learn more about automated driving here

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