CRUISE CONTROL A BRIEF HISTORY

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With the increase of accident in our road, the road authorities had decided to implement the Automated Enforcement System (AES) where it will like a CCTV that fixed in the major highways to capture the drivers who drive above the speed limit. Driving above the speed limits is one of the major contributors to the accident in our country. From just less than 10 AES fixed now, the authorities had decided to fix more AES camera on our highways. The system will capture the drivers that had driven beyond the speed limit and the summons for the drivers will be sent directly to the drivers via the post with the information like the speed limit, time, road and the driver’s car. However, the location of the AES can be known to the driver via the Waze navigation, mouth to mouth information, social media and finally the traditional printed media like the newspaper.

AES camera

Based on this information, the drivers can prepare to drive according to the speed limit when they had reached this hotspot via controlling the pedal or another way is via the cruise control. The cruise control is the easiest way to maintain the speed limit according to the highway speed rule and how the cruise control had started. The cruise control like the hybrid car, steering, tire, and other car technologies and equipment also had a long history.

The principles of the cruise control are to act like the servomechanism that takes over the throttle of the car to maintain a steady speed as set by the driver. The first speed control for the automobile had been introduced in the now-defunct automobile company the first one is the British car manufacturer Wilson – Pircher and in the American car manufacturer Peerless. Peerless had advertised their speed control system by describing the system as “can help the driver to maintain the speed of the car whether in uphill or downhill”. Both of this car manufactures had gotten the idea to implement the speed control in the car from the James Watt and Matthew Boulton in 1788 where they had invented the speed control system for the steam engines.

Then in 1948, Ralph Teetor had invented what to be the modern-day cruise control. He invented this system when he becomes so frustrated with his lawyer whom will keep speeding up or slowing down without any mechanical assistant. His system had been installed in the Crysler Imperial where it will be called as Auto Pilot. Even though the principles of the cruise control had started in the early 19th century but the cruise control gains some rise in the popularity during the 1973 oil crisis where the car manufacturer will advertise the cruise control system as saving fuel and at the some maintaining a steady speed.

With the increased use of the electronic item and sensor in the car, the modern day cruise control mechanism had been replaced by the electronic system where it is much easier for the driver and also the car manufacturer to use and implement the system.With the popularity of the multifunction steering wheel, car manufacturer had installed the cruise control stick in the car steering itself either in the left-hand side or in the right-hand side of the car steering and also  with the continuous innovation on the cruise control , the car manufacturer had invented several types of cruise control for their car model.

Cruise Control Stick

The first is the traditional cruise control that can be activated via the cruise control stick installed in the left or right-hand side of the car steering and the speed limit can be set in the multifunctional steering wheel. Once the system had been activated as per the speed set by the drivers, the system will maintain the desired speed. If the driver had been stuck in the traffic jam, or the driver slowing down the car, the system will be activated back when it had reached the desired speed form the standstill. The system will be deactivated if the driver had canceled it. This system also known as Passive Cruise Control.

Another cruise control system that is gaining some popularity now is the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). Where the principles are still the same with the Passive Cruise Control but with more functionality than the later. In these types of cruise control, the system not only can maintain the speed of the car set by the drivers, it also can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in the front, can provide a warning to the driver is there a risk of collision and also have the autonomous braking system. Previously the car manufacturer had installed the laser system but since it had proved to be unreliable, the car manufacturer had installed the sensor, radar and in some car camera like the Volvo S40. This system had been further improved where the vehicle can accelerate and decelerates electronically without driver intervention.

Adaptive Cruise Control system installed in Audi

The cruise control had been used for the driver to control the speed electronically and due to these it is also can help the driver to save fuel especially when the driver is traveling on a long journey. The system can also reduce fatigue for the driver where with this system the driver no longer needs to control the speed pedal and can transfer the job to the car cruise control system. The system also can help the driver to maintain the speed in the AES hotspot too and avoiding getting caught in the summons.  However, the cruise control also had its cons as the system will not work perfectly on the trunk road where they are more curve and in a bad terrain road but apart from it the pros of the cruise control overtake the cons of it as the system does not eliminate the driver intervention altogether but just assisting the driver only.

Since the cruise control had been so useful for the driver, it is sad to see that some car manufacturer does not include the cruise control in the car especially in the low variant. For the driver to get the cruise control, he needs to pay extra to get the cruise control system. In the future, let’s hope the car manufacturer will follow the Honda Malaysia where they had installed the cruise control in the low variant accord and had installed the more advanced AAC in their high variant. The cruise control like the safety system and convenience it is also must be a necessary item in the modern car as it provides a comfort and absolute assistant for the driver especially when they are driving in the long journey or in the AES hotspot.

One thought on “CRUISE CONTROL A BRIEF HISTORY”

  1. >Then in 1948, Ralph Teetor had invented what to be the modern-day cruise control. He invented this system when he becomes so frustrated with his lawyer whom will keep speeding up or slowing down without any mechanical assistant.

    I think it should be noted that Ralph was blind, which was way the speeding up and slowing down was so annoying to him. Since he couldn’t see, the feeling of the constant speed changes was annoying for him.

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