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Published on Jul 2, 2012
A related feature to forward collision avoidance is adaptive cruise control, which is typically marketed as a convenience feature. As with regular cruise control, the driver sets the desired speed. The difference is that the vehicle automatically slows down in heavy traffic in order to maintain a safe gap without the driver having to do anything. Forward-mounted sensors track the distance to a lead vehicle, and the engine and brakes are used to maintain a safe gap if traffic slows. As traffic speeds up, the vehicle accelerates to maintain the preset cruise speed. Some systems allow drivers to adjust this gap, resulting in smaller or larger following distances. If the vehicle slows below a certain speed as it approaches another vehicle, some systems are designed to disengage and require the driver to resume control, while others can bring the vehicle to a complete stop.