Video: Adaptive Cruise Control is wonderfully terrifying


Adaptive Cruise Control has been around for a few years now, and it continues to trickle into all sorts of vehicles. I was recently in Los Angeles to test drive the refreshed 2014 Buick LaCrosse, and that cozy four door was outfitted with the tech. On the drive home I began to crawl into dreaded LA traffic and I was pining for an ACC system to test out in this situation.

As luck would have it, I was driving a 2014 Subaru Forester 2.0T. Said Subie also has Adaptive Cruise Control.

It’s a truly wonderful bit of kit… and it’s truly terrifying at the same time. See what I mean after the jump.

[youtube width=”720″ height=”405″][/youtube]

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22 responses to “Video: Adaptive Cruise Control is wonderfully terrifying”

  1. Guest Avatar

    I've always wondered how well that works and… I'm not certain I would trust it either.
    Can adaptive cruise control also be set up to act like conventional cruise control?

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      It actually works really well, once you get over your initial fear. The only issues arise when the cars in front of the car you're following come to hard or quick stops. You can see it coming but the system is only looking a car ahead it seems.
      I believe you can have it run as standard cruise as well.

      1. jeepjeff Avatar

        There's a radar gun in the front bumper. The car in front of you acts as a shield, so for these first generation systems, it can only see one car up. I'm not going to be at all surprised if it becomes possible to watch many cars up and the things start modeling traffic waves sometime in the next decade (as part of the march toward full auto-pilot).
        It will be interesting to see what happens to traffic jams when these become widespread.

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    Terrifying, but great feature…in unenjoyable traffic. One step on the way to not having to drive yourself on a congested and boring road.

  3. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    It's a radar-based system, right? I can't wait for my Cobra to go apeshit in response to the most normal, everyday cars.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Similarly, I can't wait for cars with adaptive cruise control to smash into Corvettes, McLarens and other non-metallic bodied cars… Or simply lifted Bro-dozers where the sensor won't pick up on the truck up high, but the Bro-dozers rear bumper WILL pick up the acc'd car's driver's head…

  4. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Personally; I hate it.
    Many's the time that I've been in a Benz GL or an S with adaptive cruise and pined for a conventional setup. Every setup I've ever encountered has been really heavy handed in operation.
    I always set the distance to maximum non-tailgating mode, this leaves about five car lengths between me and the car in front. Now, inevitably, the moment you leave a gap like that somebody will immediately fill it, and then, sensing the intruder, smartypants Mr Cruise will slam on the anchors, and all your passengers wwill nod their heads simultaenously.
    Then, should said car eject from the gap the system will "resume acceleration", but not gently nor elegantly in passenger-unruffling style, but the full-bore, kickdown, scalded cat method, and all your passengers will suffer broken necks.
    Seriously, anybody watching the car as it bucked its way along must have thought I'd never driven one before. Bleurgh.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Ha, I thought that too while the Subie went into OMG TIME TO BRAKE! mode…

      1. dukeisduke Avatar

        It should have also have audible warnings, like, "OMG, YOU'RE GOING TO KILL US ALL!" or "LOOK WHERE YOU'RE GOING, STUPID!"

      2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar


      3. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        I have to wonder, then, how that sort of ACC behavior would affect a Progressive Snapshot black box.

  5. dukeisduke Avatar

    Also, Infiniti is adding an option (on the JX, and maybe others) that automatically applies the brakes in conjunction with the back-up warning sensors. I've been seeing that in a TV ad.

  6. dukeisduke Avatar

    It's gotta be better than Volvo's.

  7. danleym Avatar

    Nope, I'll pass. While I can appreciate the tech involved, I prefer driving myself. I don't even like using cruise on long interstate road trips other than a brief chance to flex my right leg a bit without having to try to get my left foot on the gas.
    It's great for people who don't like driving.

    1. Vairship Avatar

      It's great for people who don't like driving, as they can now feel free to pay even less attention to what's going on in front of them…

  8. frankthecat Avatar

    Side note, I just noticed that your videos' intro clip has a stock sound that was used in Half-Life and Half-Life 2 (the metal door-close sound.)

  9. M44Power Avatar

    Traffic Jam Assist (coming to the US very soon) is a much more terrifying set of technologies. Hands off, feet off, cruise control.
    (Video, if you care:

    1. Lotte Avatar
      Yup, that's terrifying; I've seen people who still can't Hands-off-Feet-off going through an automated car wash…

  10. skitter Avatar

    Welcome to Hooniverse.
    Terrifying cars are more enjoyable.

  11. Lotte Avatar

    I think it's more acceptable if you treat it as a failsafe, when you fail to brake in time. It should'nt be an excuse for relinquishing control.
    And does this work behind a semi with a spindly underride guard?

  12. Conor42 Avatar

    Best part about adaptive cruise is setting it to something like 90mph and having the car floor itself when someone changes lanes from out in front of you 😀

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      It was set at 85 during this video, haha

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