New cruise control system predicts and reacts to lane changes

Honda is introducing the world’s first predictive cruise control system that automatically reacts when other vehicles cut into the lane of vehicles equipped with the new system.

Based on research of typical European driving styles, Honda’s Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC) is said to use a camera and radar to sense the position of other vehicles on the road.

It then applies an algorithm to predict the likelihood of vehicles in neighbouring lanes cutting-in by evaluating relations between multiple vehicles, enabling the equipped vehicle to react suitably.

According to Honda, i-ACC will make its debut this year on the new European CR-V, building upon the traditional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system.

Traditional ACC systems keep a pre-selected longitudinal velocity, which is only reduced for maintaining a safe distance to a car in front. However, if a vehicle cuts-in from a neighbouring lane, the traditional ACC system reacts later, thereby requiring stronger braking.

Honda said the new i-ACC system is able to compute the likelihood of a cut-in up to five seconds before it occurs, and is designed to react very smoothly so as not to startle the driver, who might not yet be aware of the imminent cut-in.

In this case the system applies a mild braking action, with an icon appearing on a display, informing the driver why the car is slowing down. It then proceeds to apply a stronger brake to adapt the velocity to keep a safe distance.

In a statement, Dr Marcus Kleinehagenbrock, Honda R&D Europe said: ‘I-ACC takes cruise control systems to a whole new level, offering what we call ’predictive safety’.

I-ACC is the result of an in-house Research & Development project undertaken by an international Honda team in Europe and Japan, specifically designed for European roads. Research into driver behaviour to develop the algorithm was carried out across Europe.