A Seminar Report On Adaptive Cruise Control
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Mentally, driving is a highly demanding activity - a driver must maintain a high level of concentration for long periods and be ready to react within a split second to changing situations. In particular, drivers must constantly assess the distance and relative speed of vehicles in front and adjust their own speed accordingly.
Those tasks can now be performed by Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) system, which is an extension of the conventional cruise control system.
Like a conventional cruise control system, ACC keeps the vehicle at a set constant speed. The significant difference, however, is that if a car with ACC is confronted with a slower moving vehicle ahead, it is automatically slowed down and then follows the slower vehicle at a set distance. Once the road ahead is clear again, the ACC accelerates the car back to the previous set cruising speed. In that way, ACC integrates a vehicle harmoniously into the traffic flow.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is an automotive feature that allows a vehicle's cruise control
system to adapt the vehicle's speed to the traffic environment. A radar system attached to the
front of the vehicle is used to detect whether slower moving vehicles are in the ACC vehicle's
path. If a slower moving vehicle is detected, the ACC system will slow the vehicle down and
control the clearance, or time gap, between the ACC vehicle and the forward vehicle. If the
system detects that the forward vehicle is no longer in the ACC vehicle's path, the ACC system
will accelerate the vehicle back to its set cruise control speed. This operation allows the ACC
vehicle to autonomously slow down and speed up with traffic without intervention from the
driver. The method by which the ACC vehicle's speed is controlled is via engine throttle control
and limited brake operation.
Why Adaptive Cruise Control?
Comfortable distance to the car ahead increases driving safety and ensures a more relaxed driving experience. Adaptive Cruise Control ensures that there is enough distance to the car ahead, even if it unexpectedly lowers the speed.
With Adaptive Cruise Control we have enhanced the conventional systems for speed control to a driver assistant with an added value. The system makes it possible to adapt the distance to the car ahead without the driver’s intervention, effectively relieving the driver. Highway and rural road drives are more relaxed and traffic flows better altogether, since acceleration and braking maneuvers are automatically adjusted.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Two companies are developing a more advanced cruise control that can automatically adjust a car's speed to maintain a safe following distance. This new technology, called adaptive cruise control, uses forward-looking radar, installed behind the grill of a vehicle, to detect the speed and distance of the vehicle ahead of it.
Adaptive cruise control is similar to conventional cruise control in that it maintains the vehicle's pre-set speed. However, unlike conventional cruise control, this new system can automatically adjust speed in order to maintain a proper distance between vehicles in the same lane. This is achieved through a radar headway sensor, digital signal processor and longitudinal controller. If the lead vehicle slows down, or if another object is detected, the system sends a signal to the engine or braking system to decelerate. Then, when the road is clear, the system will re-accelerate the vehicle back to the set speed.
The 77-GHz Auto cruise radar system made by TRW has a forward-looking range of up to 492 feet (150 meters), and operates at vehicle speeds ranging from 18.6 miles per hour (30 kph) to 111 mph (180 kph). Delphi's 76-GHz system can also detect objects as far away as 492 feet, and operates at speeds as low as 20 mph (32 kph).
How Does It work?
The radar headway sensor sends information to a digital signal processor, which in turn translates the speed and distance information for a longitudinal controller. The result? If the lead vehicle slows down, or if another object is detected, the system sends a signal to the engine or braking system to decelerate. Then, when the road is clear, the system will re-accelerate the vehicle back to the set speed.
The adaptive cruise control (ACC) system depends on two infrared sensors to detect cars up ahead. Each sensor has an emitter, which sends out a beam of infrared light energy, and a receiver, which captures light reflected back from the vehicle ahead.
The first sensor, called the sweep long-range sensor, uses a narrow infrared beam to detect objects six to 50 yards away. At its widest point, the beam covers no more than the width of one highway lane, so this sensor detects only vehicles directly ahead and doesn't detect cars in other lanes. Even so, it has to deal with some tricky situations, like keeping track of the right target when the car goes around a curve. To deal with that problem, the system has a solid-state gyro that instantaneously transmits curve-radius information to the sweep sensor, which steers its beam accordingly.
Another challenge arises when a car suddenly cuts in front of an ACC-equipped car. Because the sweep sensor's beam is so narrow, it doesn't "see" the other car until it's smack in the middle of the lane. That's where the other sensor, called the cut-in sensor, comes in. It has two wide beams that "look" into adjacent lanes, up to a distance of 30 yards ahead. And because it ignores anything that isn't moving at least 30 percent as fast as the car in which it is mounted, highway signs and parked cars on the side of the road don't confuse it.
Information from the sensors goes to the Vehicle Application Controller (VAC), the system's computing and communication center. The VAC reads the settings the driver has selected and figures out such things as how fast the car should go to maintain the proper distance from cars ahead and when the car should release the throttle or downshift to slow down. Then it communicates that information to devices that control the engine and the transmission.
The driver interface for the ACC system is very similar to a conventional cruise control system.
The driver operates the system via a set of switches on the steering wheel. The switches are
the same as for a conventional cruise control system except for the addition of two switches to
control the time gap between the ACC vehicle and the target vehicle. In addition there are a
series of text messages that can be displayed on the instrument cluster to inform the driver of
the state of the ACC system and to provide any necessary warnings. The driver engages the
ACC system by first pressing the ON switch which places the system into the 'ACC standby'
state. The driver then presses the Set switch to enter the 'ACC active' state at which point the
ACC system attempts to control the vehicle to the driver's set speed dependent upon the traffic
Operation During Follow Mode (ACC Time Gap Control)
The ACC system enters follow mode or 'ACC time gap control' if the radar detects a forward vehicle at or within the clearance distance. During this mode of operation, the ACC system sends a target speed to the Engine Control Module and deceleration commands to the Brake Control module to maintain the set time gap between the vehicles.
deceleration control - The ACC system decelerates the vehicle by lowering the target speed sent to the Engine Control Module and sending a brake deceleration command to the Brake Control Module. The maximum allowed braking effort of the system is 0.2 [g]. During brake deceleration events, the Brake Control Module activates the brake lights.
acceleration control - The ACC system accelerates the vehicle by increasing the target speed sent to the Engine Control Module. The Engine Control Module tries to maintain the target speed and can accelerate the vehicle at a rate of up to 0.2 [g] of acceleration.
Despite the introduction of the system to the market place, these are still early days. The current system can measure up to 150m ahead of the car and reduce the car's speed if an obstruction appears. What it can't do, at the moment, is bring the car to a halt.
Whatever happens, the ACC market looks set to explode. The projected figures make startling reading. In 2002 there are no more than 100,000 vehicles fitted with ACC, but that figure is set to reach eight million in four years' time, with Europe, South-East Asia and the US accounting for about a third each. Around 17% of all European-built cars are likely to have ACC fitted as standard by then.
Expansion is bound to slow down thereafter, but by 2010 the global market will be 11.5 million units, representing an industry value of around $2.4 billion - and enormously more than that saved in repair bills, hospital bills and, indeed, funeral bills.