Full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, available on the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, can help reduce the number of repeated stops and starts during every day commuting, which can be stressful for drivers.
The redesigned flagship sedan is the first Chevrolet to offer this technology, which addresses the repetitive task of braking and accelerating via a cruise control system that allows the driver to maintain a driver-selected following gap with the vehicle ahead.
Unlike regular cruise control, the full-speed-range adaptive cruise control system uses forward-looking radar to let the driver choose one of three gaps at which to follow the car ahead. These gaps adapt to the cruise speed selected, so a larger distance between cars at a higher cruise speed is provided. The system can automatically accelerate and brake the vehicle up to moderate levels to maintain the driver-selected gap, and can even work under stop-and-go traffic conditions, such as automated toll booths.
Adaptive Cruise Control still requires the driver to pay careful attention to traffic and road conditions and override the system when necessary by manually accelerating and/or braking.
General Motors and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute conducted a large field test in 2005 in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, using Adaptive Cruise Control at speeds above 25 mph.
“Results indicated that brake-apply rates were 25 times lower under freeway conditions relative to manual driving,” said James Sayers, a research scientist in the institute’s Human Factors Group. “These results suggest that Adaptive Cruise Control can substantially reduce the workload and stress associated with the everyday task of car following.”
Two other Impala features help avoid or reduce the damage caused by crashes. Forward Collision Alert warns the driver when he is approaching a vehicle ahead too quickly or if he is following much too closely. Crash Imminent Braking, available with the ACC package, can intervene to automatically apply the brakes, such as when a driver fails to respond quickly enough to Forward Collision Alert warnings.
Other available features on the Impala that can help the driver become aware of possible crash hazards include Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Rear Vision Camera, and Ultrasonic Rear Part Assist.
The new Impala recently received the highest possible 5-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program, and has one of the most comprehensive collections of standard and available safety features in its segment.