jaguar adaptive cruise control
one of the extras that is now available on the jaguar xf is the clever adaptive cruise control option. it is the type of system that first appears on expensive high-end models like the xf but is likely to become available as a standard feature on more humble models in a relatively short space of time. the reason for this, like the now ubiquitous parking aid facility found on most cars today, is that it works and makes driving, especially on motorways, far safer.
Adaptive Cruise Control with Intelligent Emergency Brake and Active Seat Belts will set you back a hefty £1,275 on the XF. Its purpose is to maintain a set cruising speed whilst still remaining at a safe distance behind any vehicle in front of you. It does this using a sensor located beneath the front bumper that monitors the traffic ahead of the car. Once the cruising speed has been set by the driver, the car will maintain that speed unless the system senses a slower car in front. In this situation it will reduce speed and maintain a constant safe distance behind the vehicle. Once the road is clear again, it will accelerate back up to the pre-set cruise speed. The Intelligent Emergency Brake uses the same sensor and if it detects that a collision is imminent, it will prepare the brakes to minimise the speed of any impact.
Adaptive Cruise Control is a very sophisticated system and is likely to be a prelude to even more advanced systems in the future that will eventually help to eliminate human error in driving situations. The issue currently is that drivers need to have the confidence to put their trust in these types of applications. At motorway speeds for example, it does take quite a leap of faith to trust the technology, but the more we use them the more confident and accepting we will become. It certainly can make long journeys a far more relaxing experience.
The downside however is that systems like Adaptive Cruise Control also highlight just how bad other people's driving can be! We've all experienced the annoying and potentially dangerous tailgater. Drivers who think that positioning their vehicle twenty feet from the rear bumper of the car in front at 70mph is a safe and acceptable way to drive. The wider use of systems like Adaptive Cruise Control can only help to reduce the incidents of this dangerous practise.
This is not the first version of Adaptive Cruise Control for Jaguar as it first appeared in the S-Type and was far less sophisticated. In that version, the car could appear to accelerate very fast before reaching the vehicle in front and then braking excessively. Once the road was clear again, the system would then accelerate the car very hard to regain its set cruising speed. As you can imagine, this sequence of events didn't make for a very comfortable or relaxing drive!
Jaguar has now refined the system quite extensively making it far more useable and comfortable. It may not be as good as Audi's comparable system but it is still an impressive piece of kit. Its current weakness however, is on bends where it can be confused by a vehicle in another lane and thinking that it is the car in front of you. If there is a slower vehicle in front and it moves away, the Jaguar system can be slow to recognise the situation and begin accelerating. The Audi system however, is quicker to react and feels more like the reactions of a human driver.
This is not to say that the Jaguar Adaptive Cruise Control is not a good system. It is and it works extremely well. If you intend to do a lot of motorway driving, it can be really useful to make your journey less stressful and more comfortable. It could also make your journey safer.