A system that automatically maintains a set distance behind the car in front is being launched by Nissan on a production car in Japan during the summer this year.
With the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system, the driver selects a vehicle speed and the required distance from the car in front. Once in operation, the system measures the distance to the vehicle in front and the rate at which that distance is increasing, or decreasing, with a millimetre-wave radar installed in the nose. Using this data, it controls vehicle: if a vehicle cuts in front, or the front vehicle slows down, the ACC system automatically closes the throttle to return the distance to the pre-programmed level. The brakes will also be applied when greater deceleration is needed. When the distance between the vehicles exceeds the pre-set level, the system opens the throttle and accelerates the car until the selected speed or the selected distance is reached. At any time the driver can override the system by braking or accelerating the car manually.