Adaptive cruise control could help to cut traffic

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Research has shown that the wider use of adaptive cruise control could reduce the amount of time spent crawling along in motorway traffic jams.

Scientists from the Technische Universtiaet Dresden in Germany have calculated that if the number of cars using adaptive cruise control increased by one percent, then it would free up 0.3 percent of the road capacity.

Adaptive cruise works by using a series of sensors to keep the vehicle a safe and consistent distance from the car in front, helping to reduce the concertinaing effect created by motorists driving inconsistently in heavy traffic.

The system has been around for over a decade now, but has only recently become available on mainstream, affordable models, such as the Ford Mondeo. However, any improvement in traffic conditions would be dependent on drivers placing their faith in the technology and resisting the temptation to control their own pace and distance from the car in front.