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Honda cruise control knows when another driver will cut you up

Your next car could be psychic. Well, sort of. Honda has announced the world’s first predictive cruise control system, which is said to know whether a car will cut in front of you up to five seconds before it does.

Honda’s Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC for acronym lovers) uses a camera and radar to sense the position of other vehicles on the road. A clever algorithm we would probably never understand then predicts how likely it is for another car to cross over into your lane.

This, Honda claims, allows i-ACC to react ‘quickly, safely and comfortably’, as opposed to the brakes being applied hard like with a traditional adaptive cruise control system that simply tries to maintain the gap you have selected between you and the car in front.

An icon appears on the driver display and mild braking occurs should a car venture in front of you. The anchors are then automatically applied harder if the situation requires it to keep you a safe distance away.

The system is said to be clever enough to know if you are driving in the UK or continent and can react accordingly. It also (thinks it) knows the nearby car most likely to cut you up. Exactly how well i-ACC will work in practice remains to be seen.

Honda i-ACC researcher Dr Schmuedderich said: “i-ACC is a significant breakthrough and a considerable further step towards a new generation of driver assistance systems that anticipate the behaviour of other traffic participants.”

The system, which will debut on the 2015 CR-V in its Executive grade trim level, is the result of a research project into driver behaviour across Europe.

Based on our experience with other adaptive cruise control systems in cars like the Mercedes GLA, a little bit more intelligence would certainly be a good thing ─ if only to inspire confidence. That lingering sense of computer infallibility is, admittedly, somewhat hard to overcome.

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