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Old 07-04-2016, 10:49 AM   #1
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Adaptive Cruise Control

Just wondering if anyone knows of an aftermarket adaptive cruise control device such as Distronic on MB that can be added to Spinter? I have it on my other cars and totally miss it while traveling between Fla an NY on a regular basis.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:29 PM   #2
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Unlikely that you could add a Histrionic as an aftermarket. You could check with an M-B dealer and find out. I've had this option in my last two S550's and it is pretty complex, including a radar transmitter/receiver in the front of the car along with a number of safety devices and interfaces with braking/throttle setup. I had someone back into my '08 S550 and damage the transmitter. The replacement part was close to $1,000. As soon as M-B is involved count on big bucks.
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Old 07-04-2016, 12:31 PM   #3
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I put in "Distronic" at least twice and spell check insists on "Histrionic" as a replacement. AARGGH!
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Old 07-04-2016, 02:32 PM   #4
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Haha. Spellcheck and Siri. Gotta love it. I also have Distronic in a '16 S550 but my wife has had it in her last three Toyota Sienna's. They call it DRRC but it is the same and works great on both. Seems there should be an aftermarket retrofit out there somewhere.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:14 PM   #5
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I have adaptive cruise control on my car and it's game changing. It makes traveling so much easier. I was hoping we'd see it as a 2017 upgrade, but time will tell. I'm a bit spoiled with a Tesla and autopilot and I can't wait until these features make it into the vans. It's a transformative experience that greatly reduces the stress of driving (especially in traffic) and it's going to make the van even more enjoyable once it happens.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:10 PM   #6
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I was confused with all the new safety features of 2016 and upgraded from 2013 to 2016 only to realize no adaptive cruise. the lane departure beeps are nice, but why it can't just keep me in the lane (since it knows I'm out) is beyond me (tesla auto pilot).

Never had a collision warning alarm go off (like Ford collision avoidance heads up delay) but I believe the new one is supposed to keep me from running into something so I guess that is one form of adaptive cruise.

Anyone know how this works ? Can't get my wife to stand in road while I test it.


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Old 07-06-2016, 12:23 AM   #7
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Didn't a guy get killed recently in a Tesla auto-drive car?
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Old 07-06-2016, 05:45 AM   #8
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I was confused with all the new safety features of 2016 and upgraded from 2013 to 2016 only to realize no adaptive cruise. the lane departure beeps are nice, but why it can't just keep me in the lane (since it knows I'm out) is beyond me (tesla auto pilot).
Commercial airliners have even more sophisticated autopilots than even the most advanced automobiles, but even in an airliner there is no substitute for a human brain at the controls. Collision-avoidance features warn the pilot to take evasive action ("Bank left. Bank left NOW.") but don't take evasive action for him.

Maybe I'm just old-school, but I prefer my vehicles to be controlled by MY brain, not by a computer brain. Cruise control to maintain speed on open highway is fine because it's there to prevent fatigue (and deep vein thrombosis) on long drives by reducing one's need to hold a foot in one position on the accelerator pedal for hours on end, but you still ought to turn off the cruise control on wet pavement or in heavy traffic because there are times where it's better to take full control in spite of fatigue. And yet, as recently as yesterday, driving from Lewisburg, WV to Cloudland Canyon State Park in Georgia, I saw a lot of idiots on the road clearly using cruise control in heavy traffic AND in heavy rain. How could I tell? If they maintain speed right up to the point that they're in danger of rear-ending the vehicle in front and then you see a flash of brake lights as they slow down, they obviously are letting cruise control take over. Smart drivers use cruise control but don't surrender to it, recognize the gap closing and slow down by disengaging cruise control and/or lifting their foot off the accelerator if not using cruise control, without having to brake hard at the last second.

Adaptive cruise control surrenders some of the driver's situational awareness to the computer and makes us worse drivers— and if I ever own a vehicle that comes equipped with it, I'll never use it because it can only respond as it's programmed to respond, even when the safest course of action is to respond in a non-traditional way. Such as when I avoided T-boning someone who ran a red light by swerving out of my lane to pass behind him and not touching the brake at all lest I go into a spin while swerving— adaptive cruise control would have decelerated my vehicle in a straight line even though that straight line would have intersected the other driver's door because there just wasn't enough room to stop in a straight line.

Beeps to remind me that I'm drifting out of my lane are fine, because it's still up to me to decide what to do about it, to either finish changing lanes or get back in my former lane.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:22 AM   #9
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I have used adaptive cruise in my vehicles for MANY years. Never had a loss of situational awareness. And never killed myself or anyone else. It is merely a convenience feature. It simply is easier than constantly having to re-adjust cruise control at the stalk. It is actually safer....... Once you use it you will always want it in your vehicle.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:27 AM   #10
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Didn't a guy get killed recently in a Tesla auto-drive car?

Yes he did. But the Tesla system is not capable of autonomous driving like this guy was doing. The Tesla system is just a highly advanced cruise control system that still requires the driver to maintain situational awareness and take control when needed. From what I've read and seen on YouTube this fellow was really miss-using the Tesla system. Hopefully this won't set back the development of truly autonomous driving systems. I hope they are available when I get too old to drive safely and then can still enjoy the independence of having my own car to get around.


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Old 07-06-2016, 07:50 AM   #11
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I have used adaptive cruise in my vehicles for MANY years. Never had a loss of situational awareness. And never killed myself or anyone else. It is merely a convenience feature. It simply is easier than constantly having to re-adjust cruise control at the stalk. It is actually safer....... Once you use it you will always want it in your vehicle.
I respectfully disagree. Adaptive cruise control makes no difference until you're close enough to someone in front of you that it can adjust your speed to match the speed of that leading vehicle. And if you're that close, it's time to take cruise control off entirely and control your speed manually, either to maintain a safe following distance or pull out to pass that slowpoke.

But that is my personal opinion. I believe adaptive cruise control can make bad or inexperienced drivers safer, but it won't make them better drivers. Better drivers can function just as well without the crutch of adaptive cruise control as they can with it.

So if you're already a good driver, you like the convenience of adaptive cruise control, AND you're willing to override it when necessary rather than being a slave to it, then I have no beef with you— or anybody else like you— using it. But I know too many marginal drivers who would let it make the decisions and use it as an excuse to pay less attention to their driving and more attention to their cell phones.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:54 AM   #12
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We have to agree to disagree. Under that theory cars shouldn't have cruise control at all. Or blind monitor sensors or other safety/convenience options.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:06 AM   #13
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The only additional cruise control feature that I'd like is to be able to maintain the same speed downhill; the AI runs away much too easily. I've noticed the C Class loaners they give me during a service all have that feature.


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Old 07-06-2016, 08:14 AM   #14
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We have to agree to disagree. Under that theory cars shouldn't have cruise control at all. Or blind monitor sensors or other safety/convenience options.
My vehicles don't have any of those safety/convenience options except basic cruise control— which I only use when I have the road more-or-less to myself for many vehicle-lengths in front of me. So I'm happy with what I have.

Like I said, if you're a good enough driver to use them as an aid rather than a crutch, it matters not a whit to me whether you use all the latest conveniences or not. I'm just concerned about the people who will use them as a crutch and become dependent upon them.

I suppose decades ago, I'd have been firmly on the side of standard transmissions because automatics were a crutch. I drive automatics now, but I learned on a standard and can still drive them, and it made me a better driver. How many people learned to drive automatics and never learned to downshift, even when hilly terrain makes it desirable to downshift instead of braking? Judging from yesterday's drive from Lewisburg, I'd say quite a few drivers don't know how to downshift.

Technology marches on, and it appears that as I get older I'm less concerned about marching along with it.
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