Safe Speed Forums

The campaign for genuine road safety
It is currently Fri Apr 03, 2020 02:42

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 19:25 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
Just been re-reading parts of PeterE's site and had an idea about cruise control. Normally I use cruise control very rarely for a number of reasons.
  • System on my car inoperable at lower speeds (<50kph I think though I'd have to look at the manual to be sure)Edit: just checked and it's 40kph - way too low IMO
  • Not safe to use (IMO) off motorways and major dual carriageways (eg large chunks of A3 and A31)
  • Not worth using even on m-ways and major DCs if I'm only going to be using that road for a junction or two
  • Where I would use cruise the road is often too busy, forcing me to turn it on and off almost constantly, thus making it easier to not use the damn thing at all
  • Zombiefication factor of driving for miles without doing much more than moving the steering wheel slightly
Not a lot can be done about the first four, but the last point is the reason I don't use cruise control much even when it would seem reasonable to do so. I think this was what PeterE was getting at on his limiters page, though please correct me if I've got that wrong Peter.
PeterE (but my bold) wrote:
There is also the vexed question of cruise control. This is a system which allows the vehicle to maintain a steady speed without the driver using either the accelerator or the brakes, using essentially the same technology as a variable speed limiter. Traditionally only found on luxury cars, it is now becoming available on many vehicles lower down the price range. Used properly, it can be a boon for long-distance cruising on the motorway, but if you're not careful it can be dangerous as you have to make a positive decision to override the system to reduce speed, rather than just lifting off the gas a bit.

Makes perfect sense to me, and pretty well defines my reason #4 for not generally using it. So here's what I'm going to try doing to see if I can get the best out of the system. When I'm on a DC or m-way and the traffic is light enough for me to use cruise control (and I'm going to be there long enough to make it worthwhile) I'm going to set it for a bit less than my chosen speed, say about 10mph under. This means that I'll still be able to make minor speed adjustments with the throttle as I do normally, rather than pressing the + and - buttons. It also means that if I decide to give my right foot a rest for a short while I'll still make reasonable progress.

Now given my normal driving patterns it's not real likely that I'll be trying this for a few weeks, so if I've missed something that makes this is a monumentally stupid and dangerous idea there's plenty of time for you all to shoot it down in flames :). Otherwise I'd be interested to hear any other opinions as to how this could be modified, such as should it be more than 10mph under my chosen speed? Or less? Or will it make little difference anyway?

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 20:22 
Offline
Member
Member
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2004 09:16
Posts: 3655
I NEVER use it in the UK. Always use it in the USA.

Our roads don't lend themselves to it as there are no "cruising" lanes. Too much stop-start motoring. Apart from some areas north of the boarder.

In the US it is different. you can pick a lane, set cruise and then sit back for the next 4 hours. Because undertaking is alowed there is no need to change lanes. Just pick the one that is going your speed.

Active cruise is on the way. It maintains the distance from the car in front using radar. This may be better.....maybe. :roll:

_________________
Speed camera policy Kills


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 20:52 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
Gizmo wrote:
I NEVER use it in the UK. Always use it in the USA.

Our roads don't lend themselves to it as there are no "cruising" lanes. Too much stop-start motoring. Apart from some areas north of the boarder.
Most of the time, yes. I was thinking more about the occasions where I end up on a longish motorway drive at times when the motorways are pretty quiet. Rare, but far from unheard of. On a daily basis you could probably use cruise safely on some motoways in the afternoon or late evening. As an extreme example I remember one Christmas morning going to pick up a mate in London trapped by non-existent holiday public transport. Had the M3 to myself and could easily have set the cruise for a ton until the Great Chertsey Road (not that I actually did or would in future, plods please note :wink:).

Gizmo wrote:
Active cruise is on the way. It maintains the distance from the car in front using radar. This may be better.....maybe. :roll:
With the emphasis on maybe. I'd worry even more about letting the system zombiefy inattentive drivers as it removes yet another responsibility. Besides, I'm really on about the use of a normal cruise control system.

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 21:06 
Offline
Friend of Safe Speed
Friend of Safe Speed
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 23:09
Posts: 6735
Location: Stockport, Cheshire
Also see this thread from earlier in the year.

When I had a car with cruise control I only used it on quiet motorways (which can still be found at times) but even then I found I was scanning the traffic ahead with the express intention of avoiding any need to reduce speed.

The article which Gatsobait referred to was expressing concern about the interaction of cruise control and variable speed limiters (which basically use the same technology).

_________________
"Show me someone who says that they have never exceeded a speed limit, and I'll show you a liar, or a menace." (Austin Williams - Director, Transport Research Group)

Any views expressed in this post are personal opinions and may not represent the views of Safe Speed


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 22:21 
Offline
User

Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 00:08
Posts: 748
Location: Grimsby
I don't have CC on my car, so not sure whether I would use it or not, but on the trucks I drive, most have CC, and I use it a hell of a lot, and of DAFs, they have a variable speed limiter in addition to the 56mph one, absolutely brilliant for town work, just set it for the speed limit, and I cannot go over the limit. Easy to switch off as well.

_________________
Semper in excreta, nur quantitat variat.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 22:54 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2004 00:14
Posts: 535
Location: Victoria, Australia
When I head up to the skid pan for some sideways fun I always take the B roads rather than the motorway but I still use the cruise control even though the roads are twisty.

I set the cruise to the maximum speed allowed (100kph) and simply drive every bend at that speed. There is a particulary twisty bit about half way where there are a few 50kph signed corners (advisory, NOT enforceable) which can be a little exciting.

At no stage have I crossed the centre line (except right bends where the road ahead is clear and visible) and of course I only do this if the weather is good and the roads are dry.

Makes for a great trip up with no chance of being fined for speeding.

Oh, and I also drove for about 30 minutes on a German Autobahn with the cruise control set to 220kph. Even at that speed there was only one time on one bend that I thought it was a fraction too high. (200-210kph would have been better)

BTW the trip is about 3 hours of driving so I like something to break the monotony and keep things interesting.

_________________
Ross

Yes I'm a hoon, but only on the track!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2005 17:14 
Offline
User

Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 16:37
Posts: 265
I use cruise control in UK

1) In normal use, it decreases fuel comsumption drastically as the electronics can respond more quickly than humans and thus very small changes in throttle are rquired.

2) In deserted or near deserted motorway roadworks. Setting the CC at the posted speed limit keeps the cameras asleep. If the m-way is busy then I use the speed limiter function instead


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 02:59 
Offline
Friend of Safe Speed
Friend of Safe Speed

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:01
Posts: 4814
Location: Essex
patdavies wrote:
I use cruise control in UK

1) In normal use, it decreases fuel comsumption drastically as the electronics can respond more quickly than humans and thus very small changes in throttle are rquired.

2) In deserted or near deserted motorway roadworks. Setting the CC at the posted speed limit keeps the cameras asleep. If the m-way is busy then I use the speed limiter function instead

I presume by "speed limiter" you mean "advisory" insofar as, should you put your foot down overriding the resistance you can still go faster?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 04:22 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
That's sort of what I had in mind but the other way round. I was thinking about setting the cruise for a minimum speed. On that deserted motorway I'm thinking of setting the cruise for, say, about 60-65. But I'll carry on driving at normal speed of between 70 and <ahem> :wink:. I can still decelerate slightly by taking my foot of the throttle, and if I have to slow down more than that I'm probably going to have to either use the brakes or change gear, either of which turns the cruise off. And if I just want to rest my right foot for a few miles I can just let the trundle along at 60-65 for a bit.

I dunno, maybe it's a bit pointless. Like I said, one of the reasons I'm anti-cruise is the feeling of being a bit uninvolved beyond moving the wheel around a bit. I'm just trying to see if that might be a way of using the system but losing that feeling. If it's a non-starter then cruise control really does become a chocolate teapot as far as I'm concerned. (Unless Thames Valley are planning to stick up SPECS in my area of course :shock:)

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 05:41 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
It's possible to use cruise control as an intelligent hand throttle. There's nothing in the rule book that says you must set it and forget it.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 11:25 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 00:24
Posts: 2400
Location: Kendal, Cumbria
SafeSpeed wrote:
It's possible to use cruise control as an intelligent hand throttle. There's nothing in the rule book that says you must set it and forget it.

I tend to do something a bit like that. I set the cruise to somewhere around the speed I wish to maintain, then I use the "+ / -" adjustments to moderate my speed as dictated by other traffic, or if I want to speed up for a bit just press the accelerator for a while, knowing that when I take my foot back off it will resume the preset speed. In this sort of driving it can be just as involving as driving "manually", but with less tendency for your average to creep over the miles!

Not really sure whether it makes you a more or less safe driver though. I also tend to use it A LOT for all the Cumbrian "radar alleys" these days, even in town, as the typical scamera sites are located on the outskirts of town where it is so easy for your speed to creep up in anticipation of the approaching NSL. Much safer to click the cruise in and "switch off"! :lol:

Joking apart, there is one other effect that hasn't been mentioned. One thing you can do is use it to improve your braking reactions. If you are using cruise to hold the throttle open then your right foot can cover the brake, thus you can react quicker to a sudden hazard.

_________________
CSCP Latin for beginners...
Ticketo ergo sum : I scam therefore I am!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Me too
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2005 12:00 
Offline
User
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2004 10:42
Posts: 77
Location: Rutland
I tend to use it for the radar alleys and 40 or 50 limits that are markedly slower than the conditions would otherwise dictate.

As for switching off; many years ago, (1983 ish) I was driving through the night, on crusie control. When I awoke my front wing was being eaten by the protruding wheel nuts on a truck! :shock: What you will find more remarkable is that it was the second time that trip that I had hit something through falling asleep. The first occasion was a contraflow system which had diverted the traffic on my carriageway over to the other side. I was fast asleep by then and ploughed through hundreds of cones. When you see what happened a Selby, that could so easily have been me. :roll: However the crusie control was just one contributing factor. The others were: a 14 hour journey, a comfy car, lack of visual stimulation, severe lack of sleep. But you'll be pleased to know I wasn't exceeding the posted speed limit, so at least it was safe :wink:
Max

_________________
Tailgaters - Please Pass
You have an Accident to go to!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 23:14 
Offline
User

Joined: Sat Jan 15, 2005 06:50
Posts: 11
Bring back plod!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:31 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member

Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 12:38
Posts: 73
Location: South Bucks
I have cruise control in my car, but don't use it all that often - not because there's anything right or wrong about it, but in this country it isn't always practical. It's nice if you are on a long motorway journey, and the traffic is light. But on an uphill motorway incline you will find yourself catching people up, because most people let their speed drop off slightly when going uphill, despite what their driving instructor taught therm.

Gatsobait wrote:
So here's what I'm going to try doing to see if I can get the best out of the system. When I'm on a DC or m-way and the traffic is light enough for me to use cruise control (and I'm going to be there long enough to make it worthwhile) I'm going to set it for a bit less than my chosen speed, say about 10mph under. This means that I'll still be able to make minor speed adjustments with the throttle as I do normally, rather than pressing the + and - buttons. It also means that if I decide to give my right foot a rest for a short while I'll still make reasonable progress.

Now given my normal driving patterns it's not real likely that I'll be trying this for a few weeks, so if I've missed something that makes this is a monumentally stupid and dangerous idea there's plenty of time for you all to shoot it down in flames :). Otherwise I'd be interested to hear any other opinions as to how this could be modified, such as should it be more than 10mph under my chosen speed? Or less? Or will it make little difference anyway?

I tried this once and very quickly stopped doing it. The problem is that you forget the cruise control is set on at all. Then, along comes a situation where you see that you will need to back off by more than the margin you have set, and you ease off the throttle in plenty of time, and the car starts to slow down - and then what the flip? - the car opens the taps all by itself! Cue brief moment of blind panic until you realise what's going on.

So instead, I do it the other way round. If I'm on cruise and see a need to slow down, I just blip the "cancel cruise" button - not the brake - and then gently apply a bit of right foot to prevent it slowing too much if appropriate. Once past the hazard I press "resume cruise" and it picks up to where it was. This works well in my car, but I have driven others where the resume function was a bit too aggressive for my liking - you have to use your own judgement.

If you are in a situation where you have to make continual adjustments with the +/- buttons on the cruise control, you are probably better off without it altogether IMHO.

John


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 13:00 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
Hm, yeah. I do have a large green light on the dash with CRUISE written on it when the system's on, so I don't think I've ever been unaware, but it could happen. There's no cancel switch as such on mine. Obviously hitting the master switch will do that, but the steering wheel controls are just two buttons - resume/accel and beneath is set/decel. Normally it's turned off with the brake or clutch. If I don't want any braking, or think that flashing my brake lights wouldn't be a good idea, I just dab the clutch. Just a light touch is enough, and it's way above the biting point so nothing else happens.
Still haven't got round to trying the idea out anyway. I think that on its own speaks volumes about using cruise control round here. :)

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 13:21 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member

Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2004 12:38
Posts: 73
Location: South Bucks
Gatsobait wrote:
Hm, yeah. I do have a large green light on the dash with CRUISE written on it when the system's on

Aha! I have a CRUISE indication on the dash too, but it only means the system is switched on and ready for use - there's no distinction between "standby" and "active".

You'll have to give it a go and see what works for you - if you can find an opportunity!

John


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 15:22 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
Just shows that different manufacturers have gone about it different ways. There is a standby light of sorts on mine. It's a tiny little green light about the size of a match head on the master swicth itself. Quite hard to spot as it's on the dash to the right of the wheel, which hides it from my eyeline. The active light is the same size as the warning lights for brakes, brake light, open boot, engine problem, 4WS problem etc. Most of these are red, a couple are orange. Cruise is the only green one, so even though it's about halfway to the passenger side of the dash it's easy to see out of the corner of your eye and impossible to mistake for anything else.

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 1.361s | 13 Queries | GZIP : Off ]