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Your email: Confusing adaptive cruise explained

Jack G. in Florida swears his car is trying to kill him; Cooley explains that is a feeling some drivers may know on the road to autonomy.

Brian Cooley Editor at Large
Brian Cooley is CNET's Editor at large and has been with the brand since 1995. He currently focuses on electrification of vehicles but also follows the big trends in smart home, digital healthcare, 5G, the future of food, and augmented & virtual realities. Cooley is a sought after presenter by brands and their agencies when they want to understand how consumers react to new technologies. He has been a regular featured speaker at CES, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and the Publicis HealthFront. He was born and raised in Silicon Valley when Apple's campus was mostly apricots.
Expertise Automotive technology, smart home, digital health. Credentials
  • 5G Technician, ETA International
Brian Cooley
Watch this: Adaptive Cruise confusion

Jack G. from Florida writes:

"I drive a 2015 Audi S8 and love the car in every manner -- except the CMBS/ACC in it has no guaranteed reliability. I have been in situations in traffic using the Stop & Go ACC system when a car will change lanes out of my path ahead and suddenly, out of nowhere ACC will rocket my car at up to the top speed I had the limiter set at, sending me hurtling toward a car ahead!"

Audi offers a somewhat confusing explanation of this in the official owner's manual, saying the adaptive cruise control is -- and isn't -- suited to use in stop-and-go traffic.

Bottom line, these systems are the early stages of self-driving and, as such, need to be understood before you rely on them. They aren't as simple as past cruise control systems.

Tesla and Mercedes are among the carmakers who have had to revise the way they describe these systems to the broader world and to drivers.

Jack does on to say that his Audi's ACC "did save me on one occasion from a very low-speed collision where I was briefly distracted and the car ahead slammed on brakes -- my car automatically brought itself to a complete stop before my foot could even touch the brake pedal."