• http://www.businessinsider.com, Samuel Blackstone
Your car automatically begins to decelerate as you glance into the sideview mirror, notice the left lane is open, and move over. With clear air and a clear lane ahead, your car automatically throttles and you effortlessly pass the slower traveler. That's when you realize this isn't your dad's cruise control.
It's Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC; also called autonomous cruise control), a technology invented by William Chundrlik and Pamela Labuhn in 1990 and first patented in 1991 by General Motors. The reason you may not have heard of it: it has been reserved only for high-end luxury cars. Lucky for you, it's starting to become available in more affordable cars, according to WIRED magazine.
Here's how it works:
ACC involves a microwave radar unit incorporated into a car's front grill.
The radar scans for objects and vehicles up to 500 feet away and calculates the object's velocity, adjusting your car's speed accordingly.
By setting a preferred distance between your car and the car ahead, your car maintains the preferred trailing distance by adapting your cars speed to the car ahead
Allowing you to set a top speed, your car adapts to the driving environment so that once you find an open lane, it automatically accelerates back to the desired maximum speed, reports JD Power and Associates.
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