1993-03-01

Autonomous Intelligent Cruise Control Incorporating Automatic Braking 930510

Conventional cruise control systems have been in use for many years. Their function is to maintain a preset vehicle speed thus improving the comfort for the driver during steady driving conditions.
Most systems achieve this by having a small electronic control unit which monitors vehicle speed and driver interface controls and operates the throttle butterfly to control engine power. Figure 1.
Various interlock features are fitted to prevent unwanted engine power increases in the event of a system failure.
Cruise control is widely fitted in the North American market, but on the more crowded roads of Western Europe its use is somewhat restricted.
The ability to maintain a fixed speed is of limited use when traffic conditions dictate the widely varying speeds that are commonplace in the UK and becoming more common in the rest of Western Europe and North America.
The use of cruise control systems would be significantly increased if some method of enabling them to adapt automatically to the traffic flow could be achieved.

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