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Cars have undoubtedly been one of the most influential inventions to have shaped our culture today, and they’ve only innovated since. From the very first advancements in engine development right up to new features like Internet capabilities, cars have been continuously pushing the boundaries of what they can provide to their drivers.

Some of these innovations are purely aesthetic in nature - think of the designer luxury cars, for example - but some of them can be absolute lifesavers. Others are little more subtle but all the more appreciated: like the simple cruise control.

Depending on what kind of driver you are, you may or may not be familiar with this toggle function at all. Usually located behind the wheel, this control shaft may have been sparked your curiosity, or confused you with its purpose. How does it work?

Cruise control 101

As the name suggests, cruise control does what it says on the tin: it lets you cruise. More specifically, it means that it activates a system where your car accelerates at a constant speed, allowing you to take your foot off the pedal.

This is fine with people who don’t like mashing their leg in the “accelerate” position every time, but it can be an absolute lifesaver for those who take long trips. Cruise control works very well with roads that are straight, long, and mostly empty - making this feature a mandatory for drivers who do a lot of cross-country driving.

However, not all cars have this feature. While plenty of manufacturers have now included cruise control in their latest models, the location of the marketplace will also change whether or not this feature is added in the cars. Since cruise control is best suited for open roads, densely urbanized places like Southeast Asia have little use for them, unlike their counterparts in Europe and the United States.

To cruise even higher

Cruise control has been around for a while, but how exactly can you improve on this concept? While allowing such things as the Ford Fiesta cruise control to existing, innovators have been continuously working to bring a newer level of tech to this product.

One of the developments that have been the most useful is allowing people to add their own cruise controls to their cars. As not all models will often carry cruise control, compatible and portable versions of this product enable drivers to enable their private vehicles to do this on-demand. It allows drivers with older cars to get this feature and makes it accessible to other vehicle types that may not necessarily have them (for example, some larger or smaller types of vehicles.)

Finally, cruise control plays a role in developing self-driving cars as well. Recently developed using a mixture of laser, radar, and sensor technology, modern cruise control can be allowed to drive itself autonomously. Able to keep pace with the cars around it, such experiments have already been performed by companies such as Google, and have been part of the development of some vehicles like the Tesla.

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Tags: Control, Cruise, Work

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