Cruise control has, contrary to popular belief, been around as early as the start of the 1900s, at least in primitive form. In more modern form, the innovative feature allows for a speed to be set manually in your vehicle, and then for the vehicle to control cruise speed automatically, maintained by on-board systems. The steering wheel will naturally still function and the cruise control system can then be disengaged at any time by pressing the brake pedal or clutch pedal.
One of the many benefits of cruise control systems is a significant saving in fuel costs. Simply put, there is no more efficient regulator of fuel conserving speeds then a mechanical device, and over time the fuel saved will be significant. In fact, savings of more then 25% have been reported, depending on the vehicle make and habits of the driver.
The modern adaptive cruise system takes this feature one step further, allowing for the vehicle to not only maintain speed, but automatically return to the set speed after acceleration, or speed up to the set speed after braking. In this way the cruise control becomes an active co-pilot, providing maximum convenience and greatly simplifying the task of driving. Best of all, the added benefit of sensors in some vehicle models can even allow the vehicle to automatically brake, taking automotive engineering beyond cruise control and one step closer to fully automated vehicles.