Cruise, and bad weather - primus 1

Having a conversation at work today I was telling my colleague how I think cruise control is a real boon, especially as I have adaptive cruise which is even better, my colleague said her car has cruise but normal, but she’s never used it, I then suggested she should have a go with it but not to use it in the rain, she asked why and I wasn’t really sure why, googleing it brought up loads of conflicting advice as you can use it in wet weather as long as it’s not torrential rain, ( obviously it’s not advisable to use it in snow or icy conditions), so is it ok to use cruise control adaptive or otherwise, in the rain provided you set the correct speed for the conditions..?

Cruise, and bad weather - Terry W

I find that cruise control (basic not adaptive) is only worth using if the roads are very quiet or in average speed camera areas of motorways where attention may drift - otherwise you are forever switching it on and off.

There is also a danger with cruise control that in an effort to make it worthwhile yuo cut safety margins to avoid disengagement.

No reason not to use it in normal intensity of rain - but in ice or snow where risk of skidding is much greater it seems a bad idea.

Cruise, and bad weather - Andrew-T

My only exposure to Cruise was many years back when we hired a camper on a visit to the States. It had either a 4½ or a 7½-litre engine, and I soon stopped asking it to keep to 55mph when I realised what happened when going up hills. Consumption was bad enough as things were.

I guess Cruise is rather cleverer these days, but does it improve or worsen consumption overall ?

Cruise, and bad weather - dan86

My only exposure to Cruise was many years back when we hired a camper on a visit to the States. It had either a 4½ or a 7½-litre engine, and I soon stopped asking it to keep to 55mph when I realised what happened when going up hills. Consumption was bad enough as things were.

I guess Cruise is rather cleverer these days, but does it improve or worsen consumption overall ?

A driver with very light feet and good cr control can get better fuel consumption but for your average driver cruise control can improve fuel consumption.

Cruise, and bad weather - badbusdriver

I’m a big fan of cruise control and see no reason at all why you wouldn’t use it in the rain. That has nothing to do with it, certainly a ‘non adaptive’ type, all it’s doing is holding the vehicle to a set speed. If it is safe to drive at 60mph, it is also safe to use cruise at 60mph. Adaptive cruise may be different, but I think it unlikely that the weather, unless absolutely terrible, would have any effect. Presumably, you would also not be able to actually use it if (due to extreme weather, or just a fault) the system wasn’t able to recognise how close a car in front is.

As for economy, depends how you drive. But it is certainly possible to get higher mpg without cruise.

Cruise, and bad weather - bathtub tom

As for economy, depends how you drive. But it is certainly possible to get higher mpg without cruise.

I'd dispute that. The rare occasions I've driven a car with cruise, I found I couldn't better the economy by turning the cruise off. I used to do economy runs back in the '70s, so think I know what I'm doing. I can only assume that by using cruise the car knows its optimum settings for prevailing conditions.

Cruise, and bad weather - Manatee

As for economy, depends how you drive. But it is certainly possible to get higher mpg without cruise.

I'd dispute that. The rare occasions I've driven a car with cruise, I found I couldn't better the economy by turning the cruise off. I used to do economy runs back in the '70s, so think I know what I'm doing. I can only assume that by using cruise the car knows its optimum settings for prevailing conditions.

I will happily concede that your economy driving credentials are better than mine (I haven't any) but I'm pretty sure I can just edge the cruise control for economy. It probably depends on terrain. Cruise will always over shoot at crests for example when an alert driver will fade the power before beforehand.

To the point in an earlier post, the reason for caution in rain is that if you do happen to lose traction, possibly through aquaplaning or cornering forces, depending on the drive configuration and speed feedback source it can spin the driven wheels up. Sounds a bit unlikely, and I admit to using cruise in moderate rain on an almost empty A38 for 20 miles from South Hams to the M5 last night. I did knock it off for some of the tighter curves, I'd rather balance the throttle myself if there are corners and water involved. On/off/on doesn't bother me, my thumb's on it and I use it regularly enough not to have to fumble or think too much.

Cruise, and bad weather - Engineer Andy

I've never driven a car with cruise control, but when I was looking to replace my ageing (but still ok in most respects) car, I asked my sister if cruise control was a useful feature, as her car (at the time) had it.

She said it really depended on the type of traffic you were driving in - very good for a relatively clear and level motorway, not very good (especially adaptive cruise control) at busier times and on downslopes becaue they have an annoying habit of braking to maintain distances only or speed on downhill sections, rather than just backing off on the gas and/or allowing the car to catch up the vehicle in front (but not too close) and indicate to them it's time to overtake.

I've seen this quite a bit when driving to the West Country to/from holiday where cars just brake in such situations (worst if they come up behind a slow-moving vehicle - they just slow down to the speed of the one in front whilst still some distance behind), where I can achieve the same by just backing off on the throttle, even in a manual.

Cruise, and bad weather - Ethan Edwards

Adaptive cruise is a whole different animal. You set it at your speed lets say 60mph. It maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Braking if they do stopping (almost less than 5mph it pings you and turns itself off ) or accelerates back up to your chosen speed. etc all with no extra driver input. Its smooth , safe and advanced. Comparing it with normal cruise is like comparing the Space Shuttle with a Biplane.

Cruise, and bad weather - Engineer Andy

Adaptive cruise is a whole different animal. You set it at your speed lets say 60mph. It maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Braking if they do stopping (almost less than 5mph it pings you and turns itself off ) or accelerates back up to your chosen speed. etc all with no extra driver input. Its smooth , safe and advanced. Comparing it with normal cruise is like comparing the Space Shuttle with a Biplane.

I thought that the whole point of cruise control was to maintain a speed. Maintaining a distance is safe, but hardly great at getting to your destination on time, if the vehicle in front is going slowly (on the motorway). They also cause traffic jams because it uses the brakes all the time rather than backing off on the throttle first.

PS. The space shuttle was designed in the 1960s and 70, so hardly latest tech. A driver's brain makes those systems appear like a BBC Basic computer.

Cruise, and bad weather - mcb100
Adaptive will use friction from aerodynamics and road surface to slow the car if it can, if it needs to it brakes. Just like a driver.
If you’re caught up behind a slower car, what do you want it to do? Go over the top? As soon as that car is no longer visible to the cruise, you’re back up to the preset speed.
The gap between you and the car in front can be adjusted, it works in time increments.
Cruise, and bad weather - Engineer Andy
Adaptive will use friction from aerodynamics and road surface to slow the car if it can, if it needs to it brakes. Just like a driver. If you’re caught up behind a slower car, what do you want it to do? Go over the top? As soon as that car is no longer visible to the cruise, you’re back up to the preset speed. The gap between you and the car in front can be adjusted, it works in time increments.

But I thought that the whole point of cruise control was to allow the driver to take a rest and just steer/signal in light traffic, not maintain a distance in slower-moving traffic. TBH, I don't see the pint of one that keeps a certain distance, given the driver (by law) is supposed to be attentive and in charge of the car, and thus can see a slow-moving vehicle and take control.

IMHO, adaptive cruise control just causes tailbacks because lazy drivers would rather slow down rather than use their brain and overtake. At least standard cruise control keeps the speed constant. Some newer versions may well use engine braking, air resistance, etc to keep the vehicle's speed constant, but many do not, having witnessed this myself.

I think the adaptive cruise lulls people into a false sense of security, like many modern safety devices, leading their attention to wander or do illegal (and very danagerous) things, like using their mobile phone (not hands-free mode), eating/drinking, etc. I see that with HGV drivers as well.

Cruise, and bad weather - mcb100

I wish my eyesight was as good as yours, with the ability to see who has cruise switched on and who hasn't...

Cruise, and bad weather - mcb100
Cruise control on the vast majority of the time, even in town. The downside of running a car with active cruise every now and again is remembering that mine is definitely ‘passive’ cruise....
Cruise, and bad weather - daveyjp

Probably a throw back to the early systems which were very basic. If you started aquaplaning the cruise would continue to add power to maintain set speed.

Modern cars are far more sophisticated with adapative cruise, traction control, differential braking etc so it is probably no longer an issue.

Cruise, and bad weather - primus 1

I think with modern cruise control,if the traction control or stability control, eg are activated, it automatically cancels the cruise system..

Cruise, and bad weather - DavidGlos
I’m with mcb100 and use adaptive cruise the majority of the time.

Set to 31 when travelling through the villages round here. Used through average speed sections and regularly on most vaguely straight roads. Wouldn’t contemplate a car without CC now.
Cruise, and bad weather - ExA35Owner

Adaptive cruise has to "see" the vehicle it's following. How well it can "see" depends on what sensors it has - and how transparent the atmosphere is between the sensor and the target vehicle. If the sensor loses "sight" of the car in front, things could get unpleasant unless the driver intervenes.

I have conventional cruise, which I find helpful. There is also automatic braking using a forward-facing camera (which also detects lane changes). In heavy rain or snow the system complains that it can't see, and then it's up to the driver.

Cruise, and bad weather - mcb100

Adaptive cruise is fantastic, with very few shortfalls. If the car that your car has 'locked on to' disappears, changes lane, for example, you will experience a momentary burst of acceleration until it sees the next car in line. Unless you're driving a Ferrari at peak torque, that's not an issue.

The more intuitive versions will disable as the driver indicates to overtake, so the acceleration starts before pulling out one lane to the right. Otherwise, you move out, the car realises there's nothing in front, then it starts to accelerate. Sometime that can take a second or two.

Cruise, and bad weather - Archie35

Totally agree. We have 2 cars, one with adaptive and one with normal cruise control. I use the adaptive one almost the entire time except for when on winding country lanes. It makes driving in any form of traffic so much less stressful - just set it to the max speed limit, and then let the car handle the ebbs and flows of the traffic. Like you, I just have to remind myself when using the car with the normal cruise control that it doesn't work that way - but it still gets used most of the time when out of town. I wouldn't even consider buying a car if it didn't have cruise control, and I would definitely pay more for the adaptive version.

Cruise, and bad weather - gordonbennet

You can see why driving standards are dropping in all forms of transport, is anyone actually in control of the vehicle or its trajectory speed distance positioning for the conditions any more.

If some on baord computer is simply following the car in front, and the car at the head of a convoy is driven by an idiot at a totally wrong speed for the conditions, that presumably means every vehicle following its leader is doing the same.

Yes i make use of normal cruise every day, travel up to 1000 miles a week on cruise, i don't have adaptive cruise and don't want it, i'll be in charge of travelling/braking distance thanks, its bad enough the oversensitive AEBS doing its thing for no reason every now and again, nor do i want the vehicle affecting the steering for me, ever, i'm solely in control of the thing and that suits me fine...if it goes wrong i'm to blame just like those who leave it to the electronics.

Obviously i wouldn't use cruise in slippery conditions (wet normal roads are not what i call slippery), in really slippery conditions i'll be at heightened senses making as much as i can from how the vehicle is behaving regarding the road surface, much of the input for road feel coming via feet through the throttle pedal.

Cruise, and bad weather - mcb100

In a previous life, I used to dispatch AA patrols to breakdowns. One day, we got the police on the phone saying one of the guys had been killed whilst working on the hard shoulder. A non-attentive HGV driver had veered across the white line and struck him. With lane keep technology, he may well still be here.

Cruise, and bad weather - Andrew-T

You can see why driving standards are dropping in all forms of transport, is anyone actually in control of the vehicle or its trajectory speed distance positioning for the conditions any more.

Having read the posts above, I am imagining a scenario where a car somewhere ahead panic-brakes suddenly while your adaptive C-C has lost contact with the car in front. What does it do ? I presume the reaction time of C-C is at least as good as a human's - or is it ?

Can't help thinking that habitual use of C-C would lead to half-awake drivers, and perhaps encourage them to use their phones more. As some above have said, they wouldn't consider any other car. I suppose if one's profession means several hours every day in a driving seat, that's understandable.

Cruise, and bad weather - mcb100

There is a handover between adaptive cruise and Autonomous Emergency Braking. That will function when cruise isn't engaged, and at least mitigate any impact.

In reality, and I can only speak for myself, electronics don't make me any less attentive at the wheel, and muscle memory inevitably means that the number one reaction if things are going wrong is to jump on the brake pedal.

Fail safes are in place - if lane departure doesn't sense anyone holding the wheel, it will disable. It's not autonomous driving, it's an aid. Nissan ProPilot, commonplace across the range, will sound a claxon if it hasn't received any input into the steering, progressively louder, then it will give the brakes a couple of presses to wake up a driver, and if it still doesn't get a reply it will assume the driver is asleep (or worse) and bring the car to a stop in lane. The next phase, in development, will steer the car to the left and bring it to a halt.

It's a common statement that driving standards are slipping, but the number of fatalities, serious and minor injuries are way down on where they have previously been.

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Edited by mcb100 on 14/10/2020 at 10:12

Cruise, and bad weather - RT

It's a common statement that driving standards are slipping, but the number of fatalities, serious and minor injuries are way down on where they have previously been.

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/upload...f

The reductions in road casualties have come from improvement in car safety features and road safety features - NOT driving standards.

Cruise, and bad weather - mcb100

Is there any quantifiable evidence in the perceived decline in driving standards?

Cruise, and bad weather - Sofa Spud

Is there any quantifiable evidence in the perceived decline in driving standards?

I don't think there's been a decline in driving standards since the early 1970's, when I started driving. There have always been habitual bad drivers and there have always been good drivers who sometimes make bad mistakes.

Cruise, and bad weather - Andrew-T

The next phase, in development, will steer the car to the left and bring it to a halt.

Obviously cars intended for Europe will be LHD and will steer to the right. What should a British driver do when he takes his car abroad ? Can the electronics be reversed - or are they clever enough to realise the car is correctly on the other side of the road ?

Cruise, and bad weather - mcb100

That I don't know - it's still in the hands of the technical types at Nissan in Cranfield. But I'm sure they'll have thought of it.

Cruise, and bad weather - Bilboman

I remember reading somewhere that it is illegal to use cruise control in rainy conditions in Belgium. Not sure how they could ever prove that, but still. And the definition of "rainy" is always open to debate - except in France, where if it's rainy you drop your speed by 20 km/h every time. If Monsieur le flic says it was raining it was raining and it's an on the spot fine, and you are frog marched (excuse the pun!) to a cash machine if necessary.

Cruise, and bad weather - dan86

I remember reading somewhere that it is illegal to use cruise control in rainy conditions in Belgium. Not sure how they could ever prove that, but still. And the definition of "rainy" is always open to debate - except in France, where if it's rainy you drop your speed by 20 km/h every time. If Monsieur le flic says it was raining it was raining and it's an on the spot fine, and you are frog marched (excuse the pun!) to a cash machine if necessary.

I think its illegal in Belgium full stop but I may be wrong.

Cruise, and bad weather - Smileyman

Have been using cruise control for many years, first used it on hired cars (America / Canada) but also had it for 16 years in the UK. Although I am aware of adaptive cruise control have never used it.

I find it is great for journeys when I want to reduce the strain of driving, make good progress (or steady progress if a slower speed) and to ensure I don't stray above a set speed. (Actually got stopped in France once when it was switched off, yes I was frog marched off the motorway but not to a cash point to empty my bank account). In traffic with variable speeds there is a possibility of ramming the vehicle in front, but that is inattentive driving, dangerous at any time. No need to touch the pedals, just disengage to allow the vehicle to slow then resume when ready to return to selected speed. As for fuel economy, by planning ahead and not braking there is no wastage of fuel accelerating to brake, but when selecting resume the engine does tend to want to race to the selected speed as quickly as possible. Also on hills the engine will work harder to maintain speed on the incline, and of course there is no engine braking on the decline so without care the selected top speed could be breached.

Wet / poor weather, I use it a lot less, using my right foot to directly regulate the speed gives better control thus safety making more use of engine gentle slowing down or braking and gentle acceleration.

Edited by Smileyman on 14/10/2020 at 23:27

Cruise, and bad weather - dan86

Have been using cruise control for many years, first used it on hired cars (America / Canada) but also had it for 16 years in the UK. Although I am aware of adaptive cruise control have never used it.

I find it is great for journeys when I want to reduce the strain of driving, make good progress (or steady progress if a slower speed) and to ensure I don't stray above a set speed. (Actually got stopped in France once when it was switched off, yes I was frog marched off the motorway but not to a cash point to empty my bank account). In traffic with variable speeds there is a possibility of ramming the vehicle in front, but that is inattentive driving, dangerous at any time. No need to touch the pedals, just disengage to allow the vehicle to slow then resume when ready to return to selected speed. As for fuel economy, by planning ahead and not braking there is no wastage of fuel accelerating to brake, but when selecting resume the engine does tend to want to race to the selected speed as quickly as possible. Also on hills the engine will work harder to maintain speed on the incline, and of course there is no engine braking on the decline so without care the selected top speed could be breached.

Wet / poor weather, I use it a lot less, using my right foot to directly regulate the speed gives better control thus safety making more use of engine gentle slowing down or braking and gentle acceleration.

I have found with all the cars with cc that I've owned have all used some from of engin breaking to maintain set speed but these were all automatic and with the lorries I've driven they have all used the exhaust break to help then maintain the set speed only on the steepest of down hill sections has it needed some help via the breaks.

 

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