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    Thread: Active Cruise Control - Details and Photos

    1. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      09-27-2004 11:45 AM #1
      Hello All:
      I was in Dresden last week, doing some research about a Phaeton that I plan to order through my dealer in Canada. I took some pictures of a Phaeton that has the Active Cruise Control (adaptive distance control) installed. This is available on the MY 2005 Phaetons in Canada, but it is listed as a 'delayed introduction' option - not sure what this means, perhaps it won't be available right away.
      I did not see any 2005 North American Phaetons with this option installed, but when I did the tour of the assembly facility, I saw a 2006 North American Phaeton that did have this feature installed. The photos below are of a 2005 European vehicle - one of the fleet kept at the Dresden factory to show buyers the different vehicle colours, interiors, etc. This option is listed in the 2005 German price list at € 2.380,-
      The radar transmitter/reciever is located on the passenger side of the front of the car, just below and outboard of the licence plate. You can see the slightly different front foglight bezel (the black area is radar-transparent) in the photo below. There are photos of the actual component that is behind the bezel towards the bottom of this thread.
      Front Bumper, showing transmitter - receiver for ACC

      The control is on the left side of the steering wheel. The small thumbwheel on the left allows you to adjust the time interval (in seconds) between your car and the car ahead of you. It regulates time, not distance, so it adjusts the distance according to the speed of the two vehicles. The buttons marked GRA+ and GRA- mean "Gradation" - pressing either button increments the speed up or down by 10 km/h (6.3 MPH).
      Steering Wheel, with controls for ACC

      I do not know if the North American implementation (functionality) of this will be the same as the European implementation.
      Michael
      Last edited by PanEuropean; 10-05-2012 at 11:52 PM.

    2. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-14-2004 12:17 AM #2
      Here's a bit more information about the ADR system. The source of the text and photos is a press release from VW (posted at German Car Fans .com), dated November of 2002. I believe that ADR will be available quite soon (perhaps in the next 90 days) as an option for North American cars. I'm not sure if it can be retrofitted to an existing car by an enthusiast or not, but eventually I will try to find out.
      The innovative Automatic Distance Regulation (ADR) system uses radar to detect vehicles ahead
      Speed and distance controlled with the left thumb

      Optional ADR adds an automatic braking and accelerating function to the standard cruise control
      ADR makes the journey far more relaxed: the driver senses directly that the car is performing various dynamic driving processes itself

      Wolfsburg. The Volkswagen Phaeton is one of the most innovative luxury saloon cars available anywhere in the world. Technical highlights such as its 4-zone Climatronic air conditioning, air suspension with controlled damping and the progressive Automatic Distance Regulation (ADR) system, an optional extra, set the standards in this automobile-market segment. This applies to ADR in particular: it transforms the previous style of travel into a new dimension of relaxed convenience. More than was ever possible until now, the driver can sense how the car is performing various dynamic processes on its own initiative.

      The automatic distance regulating system uses radar, and takes over precisely where the conventional cruise control (GRA, standard on the Phaeton) calls for the driver to take action: when the car has to be braked or accelerated. If a Phaeton equipped with ADR approaches the vehicle ahead too closely because this is being braked or simply driven more slowly, Volkswagen’s new luxury saloon model reduces its own speed automatically by the necessary amount. The driver sees a signal on the central information display between the speedometer and the revolution counter as an indication that this regulating process is in progress. If the preceding vehicle then speeds up again or the Phaeton’s driver changes to an empty traffic lane, the system accelerates the car automatically back up to the previously selected cruising speed.

      Self-explanatory controls on the multifunctional steering wheel
      The ADR controls have been designed for exceptional ease of operation and reliability, and are self-explanatory. All the main controls are on the multifunctional steering wheel, which is a standard equipment item. An ‘ON/OFF’ switch activates the ADR and a ‘SET’ button accepts the speed at which the car is travelling as the desired cruising speed. The central information display in front of the driver then shows a stylised section of road with a virtual preceding vehicle and an icon to indicate the system’s functional status. The speed can be varied by the cruise control buttons on the steering wheel.
      An innovation has been introduced here too: on conventional systems the car first has to be accelerated with the pedal or by holding the ‘SET’ lever until the desired cruising speed is reached. This method can be adopted by the Phaeton’s driver, but it can also select the desired road speed in 10-km/h steps, up to a limit of 180 km/h. The speed selected but not yet reached is marked on the speedometer dial by a red light-emitting diode above the numerals on the scale and shown on the information display.
      The ADR’s distance margin and response dynamic can be varied individually
      Within predetermined ranges the driver can also vary the minimum distance from the vehicle ahead and the dynamic response of the ADR system. A drum-type switch on the multifunctional steering wheel selects one of a maximum of seven positions, which are shown graphically on the information display. The settings 1 to 7 represent the elapsed time before the Phaeton reacts to the presence of a preceding vehicle. In position 1 the Phaeton is braked later and, when the road is clear, accelerates more rapidly. In position 7 it brakes very early and accelerates less rapidly.
      Settings 1 to 5 are intended for normal driving on dedicated highways; the Phaeton then responds in accordance with the traffic flow and accelerates briskly at the rate the driver prefers when it is steered into a free lane. For long journeys on motorways or similar main roads, settings 3 and 4 are ideal. The last two settings (6 and 7) are intended primarily for ordinary main roads. In setting 7, the distance to the vehicle in front in metres corresponds to the Phaeton’s speed in kilometres an hour: 100 km/h are equivalent to a gap of 100 metres. This setting makes overland journeys very relaxed. If urgent action on the driver’s part nevertheless becomes necessary (for instance if a panic brake application is made), the system provides an audible and visual warning.

      The radar system scans the road continuously for 180 metres ahead of the car
      Within an angle of 11.5 degrees and for a distance of approximately 180 metres, the ADR detects all vehicles moving in the same direction. The system can be activated at any road speed between 30 and 180 km/h. Above and below this speed range the ADR is de-activated as a safety precaution. The driver can also switch the ADR off by pressing the brake pedal or using the ‘CANCEL’ switch on the steering wheel. If the ‘RES’ (‘RESUME’) button is pressed later during the same journey, the automatic mode and the previously memorised settings are restored.
      The complete Automatic Distance Regulation system consists of the ADR control unit in the radar sensor housing, an active brake booster servo (BKV) and the servo control unit. The radar sensor at the front of the car transmits signals in the 76 to 77 GHz range. Since the system is networked with the ESP, it is supplied with information on the Phaeton’s road speed and yaw rate and uses these parameters as well when determining the desired speed change.

      The system is networked by means of the driveline CAN bus, so that the ideal engine torque can be sensed. The CAN bus line is also used to link it to the control units for the active brake booster servo and the automatic transmission, and to the central instrument cluster in front of the driver. The ‘Comfort’ CAN, the CAN gateway in the instrument cluster and the driveline CAN are used to connect the controls on the multifunctional steering wheel to the ADR control unit.
      ADR optimises journey refinement
      Naturally the ADR does not absolve the driver from the responsibility of concentrating on the traffic flow and reacting defensively. What it does is to support the driver in responding particularly effectively to changes in the traffic pattern. Automatic distance regulation helps to avoid driving too close to the vehicle in front in all normal traffic situations and warns the driver whenever action has to be taken. These features of the system can only be regarded as a fundamental step forward in personal driving safety, comparable to the ESP which also helps to prevent accidents from occurring in extreme situations. ADR automatically promotes a defensive style of driving and prompt responses when called for.
      -30-
      Last edited by PanEuropean; 10-05-2012 at 11:55 PM.

    3. 10-14-2004 05:25 PM #3
      My wife's Toyota Sienna minivan has this feature; it is really neat to use and I miss it in my Phaeton after I've been driving her Sienna. Of course, that's the only thing I miss about the Sienna (although it is a fine minivan).
      Incidentally, that front photo is of a MY2004 grille? I wonder if the Laser cruise control in fact made it into some European Phaetons.

    4. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-14-2004 05:55 PM #4
      Doc Roger:
      That is a 2005 European spec car. All of the photos of cars that I have posted over the last two weeks (unless otherwise attributed) were taken at the factory in Dresden during the last 2 days of September and the first 2 days of October this year. The cars that are shown outside are part of the fleet of cars kept at the factory to allow buyers to compare different colours, interiors, etc.
      Cars have been shipping in Europe with the active cruise control (ACC) for quite some time now - I think since the beginning of this year, perhaps longer. Mercedes has been shipping cars in Europe with a similar but less sophisticated ACC system for at least 2 years now.
      You can tell the difference between the 2004 and 2005 short wheelbase Phaetons by looking at the top horizontal surface of the grille. On the 2005 short wheelbase models, the top horizontal strip is wider than the bottom horizontal strip. 2005 long wheelbase models (the only kind we get in North America) have an entirely different grille. Photos of all three grilles, and additional text, can be found at this thread: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1621457
      PanEuropean

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      10-14-2004 09:34 PM #5
      I am still having a tough time understanding the purpose of this feature...

    6. 10-15-2004 12:11 AM #6
      Once you drive it VWGuild, you'll get it (does that sound familiar)? You set the cruise control to a desired speed, and it functions just like "regular" cruise control until you come up behind another vehicle. Then, the Laser bounces off of the car in front of you and your vehicle slows to keep a specified distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. If the vehicle in front of you leaves your lane or speeds up, your car will speed up again to the maximum speed that you have set.
      It's a little eery at first, particularly the automatic braking, but you'll quickly get used to it. It really works nicely. In rain, however, the system will not operate (at least in my wife's Toyo) as the Laser gets fooled as it bounces off of the raindrops.

    7. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-15-2004 01:00 AM #7
      VW Guild:
      It is a cruise control that is aware of other vehicles that are in front of your vehicle. It will slow your vehicle down from its set speed - either by reducing engine power, or by applying the brakes if necessary, if you get too close to another vehicle.
      Once the obstructing vehicle has accelerated or moved out of the way, your vehicle will then accelerate to the originally set cruising speed.
      This option will soon appear in North America. It is listed as a 'delayed introduction'. The delay was caused by California motorists, who want a TOW missile launcher incorporated into the system, in case the obstructing vehicle remains in their way for longer than 5 to 7 seconds.
      PanEuropean
      PS to Doc Roger: I believe that in the VW implementation of this, radar (radio waves) are used for the distance measurement, rather than laser (light waves).

    8. 10-15-2004 12:47 PM #8
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      The delay was caused by California motorists, who want a TOW missile launcher incorporated into the system, in case the obstructing vehicle remains in their way for longer than 5 to 7 seconds.

      Ooo! Do you think VW will offer that on the Touareg too? I want one!.

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      10-15-2004 01:33 PM #9
      Guys....I understand what it is supposed to do...I just don't understand
      why anyone would use it...Sounds kind of George Jetson to me...
      Travelling @ 80+ on 101...I don't think so...I try to keep at least 6-7 car
      lengths between me and what is in front...lots of room to slow down because of the morons behind that tailgate...

    10. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-15-2004 03:47 PM #10
      Quote, originally posted by vwguild »
      ...I just don't understand why anyone would use it...

      Your doubts are quite understandable, considering how motorists normally drive in North America.
      In Europe, drivers maintain very tight spacing between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. Two or three car lengths - maximum - is considered more than enough when travelling on autobahns at average speeds in excess of 100 MPH. Even in the fast lane, where sustained speeds often hit 150 MPH, you won't ever see more than about 5 car lengths between vehicles. In the city, you won't see more than a one or two car length gap in moving traffic. A person is not considered to be 'tailgating' (crawling up your butt and suggesting you move out of the way, or move faster) until you can't see the grille of their car in your rear view mirror. If you do see that in your rear-view mirror, your first reaction is "Geez, I'd better speed up or get out of the way", not "I'll show him who's boss by slowing down or hitting my brakes."
      In light of this, a system that automatically maintains a fixed distance between you and the car ahead is a very useful device. It reduces driver workload and enables the driver to maintain higher overall situational awareness.
      North American drivers are taught to maintain a much bigger space between vehicles. As a result, fewer cars per unit of time traverse the same section of roadway, and we get traffic jams and longer travel times. I really don't think the ADC will be useful as a 'cruising' device in North America - probably its main value here will be helping to avoid collisions with the car ahead that are caused by the driver of the (ADC equipped) car not paying enough attention, perhaps due to cell phone distractions, etc.
      In Switzerland, the minimum classroom training time and in-car dual instruction training time requirements to get a basic driver license are higher than the American classroom training time and in-aircraft dual instruction time requirements to get an aircraft pilot license. As a result, a lower % of the population drives - those who don't have the intellectual competence, physical co-ordination or spatial awareness skills to drive competently just don't get past the dual instruction period, let alone get a chance to attempt a driver license test.
      PanEuropean

    11. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-16-2004 08:38 PM #11
      VWGuild:
      I just discovered that the purpose and operation of the ADC function is fully described in the Phaeton Owner's Manual, book 3.1.1, "Controls and Equipment, General Information", September 2003 edition, on pages 130 and 131.
      PanEuropean

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      10-16-2004 10:46 PM #12
      I know. it has always been there...It is just not something that I would ever use...I don't even mess with Cruise Control...Never know what to do with my right foot, and I like being in total control and having that feeling of attachment with the car...

    13. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      10-31-2004 09:32 PM #13
      Here's a link to a QuickTime movie that shows the Active Cruise Control (ADR) in use on the autobahn in Germany. The voiceover is in German, but the pictures are in English. Note how closely spaced the 3 Phaetons are, even though they are moving at very high speeds.


      ADR Movie
      Click on the image below to watch the movie. The narration is in German.
      Last edited by PanEuropean; 10-06-2012 at 12:02 AM.

    14. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      05-22-2005 06:46 PM #14
      The staff in Dresden told me today that they have built Phaetons for the North American Region (NAR) with active cruise control installed, so the 'delayed introduction' of this feature to NAR is no more - it is now available. My guess, though, is that you would have to special order a Phaeton to get this option, I kind of doubt that VW would just install it for the heck of it on a car destined for 'dealer stock'.
      Michael

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      05-22-2005 07:01 PM #15
      Michael
      This option code never hit the 2005 Order guide, and they might have been assembled for VWoA "tester" cars, because it is not in the 2006 order guide as well, so we will see if its a mid year running change for 06.
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    16. Member chrisj428's Avatar
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      05-23-2005 11:45 AM #16
      Quote, originally posted by PanEuropean »
      I'm not sure if it can be retrofitted to an existing car by an enthusiast or not, but eventually I will try to find out.

      Michael, I'm going to have to say "no" (as much as it saddens me). Not only would you replace the controls on the steering wheel, add the control module and sensors for the ACC; the ABS control module would need to be replaced (The ACC module is slave to the ABS module, otherwise you would have unprotected (eg: outside the vehicle) CAN-BUS access, making the car about as easy to steal as if you'd left a key in the ignition), you would also need to replace the brake booster, as the regular one doesn't have the electronic controls to apply braking force as required.
      I'm thinking the costs would be astronomical -- better to take a depreciation hit & buy a new one.
      --Chris

    17. 05-23-2005 11:51 AM #17
      My 04 Toyota Sienna minivan has laser distance cruise control. It works well, but is annoying. You better try before you buy!!! It is not as great as some think it is. In the open road, you really don't need it. When traffic approaches, you have to turn it off because it can slow you down too much, and just weave in and out tracffic to move beyond anyway. Even now that I am used to it, I still find it annoying and turn the distance control off.

    18. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      05-23-2005 12:28 PM #18
      Hi Chris - thank's for answering that very old question of mine - I think this was one of the first posts I ever made on Vortex!
      You are 100% correct, it is simply not possible (practical) to retrofit this system. In addition to all the components you listed, the complete instrument cluster would also have to be replaced, as there is a small arc of red indicators around the speedometer which serve as a fall-back method of system status notification should the display screen (Y24) fail.
      Michael

    19. 05-23-2005 12:33 PM #19
      I read in Automotive News earlier today that adaptive cruise will be optional on the 2006 NA PASSAT. I wonder if it will be a late availability option on the 2006 PHAETON.

    20. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      05-23-2005 12:45 PM #20
      To be honest, I think it would not be very practical in North America, where there is no "lane discipline" on the expressways. It works well in the German speaking countries of Europe, where people get out of the way.
      Also, in Europe, if you are doing 150 MPH and you pull up within 1 or 2 car lengths of someone who is only doing 130 MPH, that is taken as a polite notification that you want to pass, and the slower car gets out of the way. If you are in North America, doing 70 MPH and you pull up within 2 car lengths of someone doing 55 MPH in the left lane, that is considered to be a challenge to the slower driver, and the slower driver will usually hit their brake pedal, just to show you who is in charge.
      If I lived in Europe, I would buy it. But in North America - as David Z. pointed out earlier, it's pointless.
      Michael

    21. 05-23-2005 02:25 PM #21
      Here! Here!
      I hardly use the regular cruise control simply because traffic is so bad in my area that the minute I activate it, I have to cut it right back off with my brake pedal due to some moron lagging around in the left lane with a handicap emblem on the license plate who BTW probably also dented a Phaeton in a parking lot 30 minutes ago opening up their friggin left door on a slightly slanted supermarket parking lot
      Their are times I just about want to pass them using the emergency lane!!

    22. 05-23-2005 02:29 PM #22
      Quote, originally posted by dcowan699 »
      There are times I just about want to pass them using the emergency lane!!

      Only in Boston my friend!
      ~PC

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      05-23-2005 02:34 PM #23
      Actually...I pointed this out in October of 2004....

    24. 05-23-2005 03:41 PM #24
      Quote, originally posted by vwguild »
      I know. it has always been there...It is just not something that I would ever use...I don't even mess with Cruise Control...Never know what to do with my right foot, and I like being in total control and having that feeling of attachment with the car...

      You most certainly did. I feel that way about a motorcycle too. I have cruise control but really only use it on a wide open stretch when my wrist starts to give out.

    25. Senior Member PanEuropean's Avatar
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      05-23-2005 04:28 PM #25
      Quote, originally posted by dcowan699 »
      I feel that way about a motorcycle too. I have cruise control but really only use it on a wide open stretch when my wrist starts to give out.

      Gee - I have 'cruise control' on my motorcycle too - it's called a throttle lock. When I am in Germany, I just crank the throttle wide open, and engage the lock. Works great, holds about Mach .28 if there are no winds...
      Michael

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