Adaptive Cruise Control

An ‘Adaptive Cruise Control’ (ACC) system developed as the next generation assisted the driver to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. This system is now available only in some luxury cars like Mercedes S-class, Jaguar and Volvo trucks the U.S. Department of transportation and Japan’s ACAHSR have started developing ‘Intelligent Vehicles’ that can communicate with each other with the help of a system called ‘Co operative Adaptive Cruise Control’ .this paper addresses the concept of Adaptive Cruise Control and its improved versions.


ACC works by detecting the distance and speed of the vehicles ahead by using either a Lidar system or a Radar system. The time taken by the transmission and reception is the key of the distance measurement while the shift in frequency of the reflected beam by Doppler Effect is measured to know the speed. According to this, the brake and throttle controls are done to keep the vehicle the vehicle in a safe position with respect to the other. These systems are characterized by a moderately low level of brake and throttle authority. These are predominantly designed for highway applications with rather homogenous traffic behaviour.

The second generation of ACC is the Stop and Go Cruise Control (SACC) whose objective is to offer the customer longitudinal support on cruise control at lower speeds down to zero velocity. The SACC can help a driver in situations where all lanes are occupied by vehicles or where it is not possible to set a constant speed or in a frequently stopped and congested traffic. There is a clear distinction between ACC and SACC with respect to stationary targets. The ACC philosophy is that it will be operated in well structured roads with an orderly traffic flow with speed of vehicles around 40km/hour. While SACC system should be able to deal with stationary targets because within its area of operation the system will encounter such objects very frequently.


  1. A sensor (LIDAR or RADAR) usually kept behind the grill of the vehicle to obtain the information regarding the vehicle ahead. The relevant target data may be velocity, distance, angular position and lateral acceleration.
  2. Longitudinal controller which receives the sensor data and process it to generate the commands to the actuators of brakes throttle or gear box using Control Area Network (CAN) of the vehicle.