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Volvo XC60 (MY 2011.5) Adaptive Cruise Control experience
The ACC went as fast as 60 mph between stop lights going along with the flow of traffic. I had the ACC set to 75 mph but the car in front of me regulated the speed for the entire 5 miles. I didn't change lanes and I stayed in the left lane the entire time.
The only thing required after a prolonged stop was to press the accelerator to get the car moving a little and then the ACC took over accelerating with the car in front of me.
Even though I didn't have to press the brakes, I covered the brakes the whole time of course. It was a bit unnerving to trust the ACC to stop but it did so without being too jerky. It looks like Volvo will continue to build on this technology because there is a lot of room for improvement.
The upside - Look Ma, no feet! It's pretty cool. No one around me would even guess a computer chip was doing the accelerating and braking. The ACC did a decent job of keeping up with traffic. No one cut into my lane in front of me, so the ACC kept a reasonable distance to the car in front when braking and accelerating. Though I did adjust the following-distance setting as needed.
The downside (a few things)-
1) It will not automatically resume after a prolonged stop. It would better if after a prolonged stop the ACC automatically accelerated with the car in front and gave a short warning beep. This would save me from pressing the accelerator.
2) When making a right-turn at an intersection, the ACC loses the car in front and gives a small beep as it is disengaged. Also, when on a straight stretch of road, if a car moves into the lane within 1-2 car lengths, the ACC doesn't recognize the car until it is 2/3 of the way in the lane. The ACC should scan and track a wider area in front of the car. It should track the leading car when it turns. It should also see cars coming into the lane, especially ones that are within a few car lengths (it instead accelerates or continues as if nothing will be there).
3) The first time I had to hit the brakes after my 5 mile journey was making a left-turn from the highway. The car in front of me continued straight, so as soon as I got in the left-turn lane the ACC started accelerating. It was blind to the line of stopped cars 200 feet ahead (approx. 10+ car lengths) and there was no way I wanted to see if City Safety would kick in to stop me. It would be better if it did track 300+ feet ahead (the 2012 Audi A8 can) and brake accordingly.
I know with City Safety the goal was not to have the driver rely on technology, so the braking is last second and abrupt. But why? If anything City Safety should give early warnings that it will engage and gradually slow down as soon as a collision with an obstacle is predicted. The braking force in the manual is listed as 'full' so it doesn't make much sense for it to go around slamming on the brakes when it could come to gentler stops instead. So there is a gap where ACC doesn't want to slow down and City Safety doesn't want to kick in.
Honestly because this is a Volvo, the technology package should become standard (ACC, lane departure warning, distance alert, and collision warning / pedestrian detection with full auto-brake). Then maybe the ACC would work better with City Safety.
Wish list - The ACC doesn't detect stop signs and traffic lights of course. Granted that's a few years from now, but combined with GPS, the ACC could know when a stop at an intersection may be needed.
So far the ACC is an interesting experience and a bit surreal. Go Volvo!