Adaptive cruise control technology has been around for quite some time now. The car can slow down automatically if the car in front of it does and then go back up to the set cruise speed without disengaging. BMW has been working to enhance the capabilities of its adaptive cruise control technology. It has demonstrated a new capability which will enable the car to stop automatically when it pulls up to a traffic light.
BMW demonstrated its next-gen adaptive cruise control at an event in Germany today. The Urban Traffic Light Recognition feature enables a car to slow down and stop at a traffic light without requiring the driver to touch the brake pedal. BMW engineers have said that this will work with stop signs as well but that wasn’t demonstrated today.
When the cruise control is set and the car approaches a traffic light changing to red, its radars will pick that up and display a traffic light image on the car’s digital cluster to inform the driver. It will then slow down and come to a stop without the driver having to press on the brake.
However, if you happen to be the lead car at the traffic light, the system won’t restart automatically when the light turns green. You will have to move the car forward with the gas pedal or press the “resume” button on the steering wheel. If you’re not the lead car, the system will restart on its own when the lead car moves forward.
BMW has said that it can roll out this feature through an over-the-air software update to models with its latest radar systems.