Cruise Control?

Cruise Control?

OK, I saw the updated specs at and lo and behold, the S now has cruise control. Great. I kinda figured that they would put it into the S (not too many cars in the $50,000+ price range don't come with it.)

But what KIND of cruise control? I have adaptive cruise control on my 2004 Toyota Sienna. I love it and use it all of the time. I am so impressed and happy with it, it is the one gadget on my car I really can't do without. I have always imagined that any car that is going to replace my Sienna (I am a signature place holder, so the S is/was scheduled to do just that) had better have it!

Has anyone got the scoop on the cruise control on the S? Am I gonna have to ask for my deposit back!?

thanks in advance,

Schlermie | March 1, 2012

Tesla said the v1.0 cars won't have adaptive cruise.

Crow | March 1, 2012

TM has said, as reported in other posts, no adaptive cruise control.

jordanthompson | March 1, 2012

Ouch. This could be a game-changer for me :-(

petero | March 1, 2012

Jordan. No adaptive cruise control. "This could be a game changer."

You must be kidding. The "S" won't have everything, but neither does the Sienna. Instead of being a "half empty guy" consider all the great features you are getting.

Roblab | March 1, 2012

OOOH, please cancel your Sig order. There are hundreds of people wanting to get in the Sig line, and none of them care that much if the cruise control is adaptive or not. Or take your Sig reservation and sell it at a profit.
Hmmm. I wonder if there's an aftermarket adaptive cruise control? Looks like some are out there, Delphi, TRW, etc.
2nd Hmmm. I wonder why Tesla decided against ACC when other luxo car makers offer it. Too much dollar for value?

Liz G | March 1, 2012

OK the ignorance is showing here, but what is adaptive cruise control? Of course this is coming from someone who rarely uses cruise control.

prash.saka | March 1, 2012

I use CC all the time, though not adaptive. Even though if the vehicle I drive might have adaptive CC, I do want to take the control over at lower speeds. So, I might not miss much if the CC is not adaptive.

@Liz, there is a cool video link from the Wikipedia article - and it demos (albeit without sound) how adaptive CC works.

~ Prash.

MitchL | March 1, 2012

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I'm not about to trust the guy in front of me to regulate my speed. (then again, I've never used adaptive CC, so I don't really know what I'm talking about!). I'm happy with regular CC myself.

I'm not expecting every crazy feature a BMW 7 has on my Model S. What I am expecting is a lot of nothing: No tailpipe, no gasoline, no oil changes, no engine, no noise. Will I take the gizmos? Sure, as long as the important parts, like the drivetrain, are perfect first!


Discoducky | March 1, 2012

IMHO...$5/gallon is a game changer, adaptive cruise is on an EV, with regen, will be less efficient due the different characteristics and habits of ICE drivers. They have acceleration lag on hills and brake heavy. I guarantee you'll get much less use out of it than you think.

Not to mention how much fun it will be to pass them and be in front as that's what 0.22Cd is for!

Brian H | March 1, 2012

A mod (Chris?) at TMC has the sig, "It's not passing, it's teleportation". :D

dborn | March 1, 2012

Had adaptive on my previous Lexus - a nuisance.On the expressway if the idiot in front slows for no good reason so do you. OTOH, i use ordinary cruise control on my current Merc all the time. I hope that it will be as easy to set on the sig as it is on the Merc. The merc with it's stalk is just soooo easy. push up to accelerate/set, down to reduce speed, and pull towards you to reset. No need to actually turn the system on each time, as in my wife's Honda.
While people here are anti stalks, it really makes more sense than set buttons on the steering wheel, and certainly it should NOT be on the touch screen!! Indicators also need a stalk. Lights, OTOH don't need to be on a stalk and can be virtually anywhere, especially if they are set to come by sensor automatically. How about wipers? Not sure if they need to be on a stalk.

phb | March 1, 2012

I would say that the wipers should be on the stalk. Auto-wipers are pretty good, but sometimes you still need to hit the stalk to make the wipers go RIGHT NOW!

Discoducky | March 1, 2012

For the beautiful Pacific NW it is a must to have RainX and forget wipers. That reminds me I need to re-apply a new coat!

And it's a bit distracting though to watch the rain go up the windscreen like the code lines on The Matrix.

At night it's hard to tell when it's raining without street lights or exterior illumination. But it's a safe bet it is in the beautiful Pacific NW.

olanmills | March 1, 2012

I know it might sound lame, but this would freak me out.

olanmills | March 1, 2012

I was referring to adaptive cruise control btw, sorry...

EdG | March 2, 2012

Re: "It's not passing, it's teleportation"

I think that feature is only available in the Performance version, but I'm not sure. Only extended test drives of both will tell.

Schlermie | March 2, 2012

For the sake of clarity, Tesla said adaptive cruise is planned for the Model S. It just won't be in v1.0. From what I understand, it's planned for the next revision sometime in 2013.

petero | March 2, 2012

discoducky. IMHO...$5/gallon is a game change.

Don't look now, in So. CA cheap gas is $4.40, climbing daily. Soon we may lament the good old days when gas was only $5 a gallon. I paid $3.94 two weeks ago.

I hope Congress is paying attention, giving Big Oil all those tax breaks, etc. and record setting profits! What a racket, a disturbance in the Middle East today and they immediately raise the pump price. That oil is 6 months away from the gas station? IMHO, when demand slackens for gasoline, don't expect Big Oil to behave like a normal manufacturer. With their overheads, the price will go up. In So. CA we have a small oil company named Occidental. Every year the CEO ( first, Armand Hammer, then Ray Irani) have made obscene bonuses on top of huge a salary.

Sorry for the rant. I need my "S" - the sooner the better. Now, back to topic-cruise control.

David70 | March 2, 2012

Two days ago I saw it for $4.26 in Palm Springs. The previous week I filled up at $4.10. I wouldn't be surprised to see it at $4.40 by now.

BYT | March 2, 2012

@petero, I share your views on the current oil prices and echo the NEED for my Model S now!

erik | March 3, 2012

Crybabies ;-)
The gas price in the Netherlands is currently $8.50 and climbing..

Robert.Boston | March 3, 2012

@erik: true, but it'll cost you much less to drive across your country! ;-)

jordanthompson | March 3, 2012

An email conversation with Alex Frank, the manager at the San Jose store, has put me back on track - thanks Alex!

I guess there will always be SOMETHING missing for SOMEONE... as long as its not something REALLY important like an engine! waitasecond...

Seriously, I do love the ACC in my 8 year old minivan and even though there is not a day that goes by without me using it, I will not be asking TM for my deposit back until I have had a chance to drive the S.

On the other hand, even though the price of gas is rapidly approaching $5 in the US and will certainly go through the roof if there is any altercation in the Gulf, lets face it, none of us should be buying this car because we will be saving money (and if you are, you should probably sit down with a financial analyst for a few minutes), its about the performance baby! Sure there is the added kicker that you are doing your part to help the beleaguered environment and you don't have to go to the gas station (unless you have to pee), but if you are spending $50,000 - $100,000 to save gas money, there are MANY smarter ways to do this. To me, it boils down to the performance every time.
By performance, I mean:
1) heartpounding, neck-snapping, grin-inducing acceleration
2) seamless, smooth shifting
3) noise (or lack thereof)
4) gadgets, don't forget the gadgets
5) did I mention the acceleration?

Speaking of noise, have anyone seen the new Mclaren mp4-12c? They vent some of the engine noise into the passenger compartment to add to the experience! Here I am trying to get rid of it ;-)

stephen.kamichik | March 3, 2012

In Quebec gas is $6.50 a gallon and climbing almost every day. This is because we pay heafty gas taxes and our government therefore loves high gas prices.

Brian H | March 3, 2012

your #2 is in the same category as the engine: it's seamless because it doesn't exist. There are no "gears", so shifting is impossible.


petero | March 4, 2012

Erik. Crybabies! Partially true.

There is little difference in the costs to manufacture a gallon of gasoline in the US and the Netherlands. The difference in retail price (US vs. Europe) is the colossal amount of tax many governments place on gasoline. In the U.S. our taxes on gasoline is minimal.

Our ‘crying’ is the result of oil companies drastically increasing their retail price (daily)- For no apparent reason. Yesterday, I put premium gas in my sports car – it was only $4.65. Wa Wa Wa…

BYT | March 4, 2012

I paid $4.50 for regular! :( What angers me is the rise in prices and the corresponding rise in their profits when they report after that. Obvious excuse to gouge the consumer!

Mycroft | March 4, 2012

Nobody is being gouged. In simple economics it's called market forces. More demand or less available supply will automatically increase prices.

If that weren't true and big oil really could gouge the consumer, then wouldn't they be doing it all the time? Do we thank the oil companies for being generous when gas prices go down?

I'm fairly conservative and it really irks me to read about Republicans excoriating Obama for "allowing" gas prices to go higher. What do they expect him to do about it? Support the oil companies more? Decrease taxes on gas? If so, then what?

Face it, gas prices are quite likely to begin increasing faster than the normal rate of inflation because more 3rd world countries are moving up and thus demand is increasing globally. I'm not sure if we've hit peak oil availability or not, but I can see it from here.

petero | March 4, 2012

My friend Mycroft. I respectfully disagree with you. Unlike most businesses, a monopoly like Big Oil can and has manipulated supply and pricing of gasoline. In CA we have it worse, we have to use a mandated, refined gasoline to meet AQMD (air quality management ) standards. In the past supply, refinery closings, refinery fires, etc. have had some very negative impacts, and we cannot use neighboring states gasoline.

How long would you estimate it takes a barrel of oil pumped from the ground ( today ) in Saudia Arabia (or wherever) to reach our shores, delivered to a refiner, refined into gasoline, and delivered to the pump? Is 6 months reasonable? So what has happened in the last two weeks? No new war, no embargo, no refinery disasters? So why has the price at the pump increased 10% in the last two weeks? More demand, less Supply?

Personally I would like to significant higher gas takes to raise the price of gasoline to $7 a gallon. $7 gas would expedite many market changes, most for the better!

Perhaps we should start a new thread as we are very far from the Cruise Control Topic?

petero | March 4, 2012

Wow. The editing feature sucks. My comments makes me sound like a moron. Maybe I am.

Volker.Berlin | March 5, 2012

Personally I would like to significant higher gas takes to raise the price of gasoline to $7 a gallon. $7 gas would expedite many market changes, most for the better! (petero)

Wow. I like that statement. Simple yet explosive... :-)

Brian H | March 5, 2012

Saw a TV analyst explaining that there are 2 major factors this winter: the demand for heating fuel was lower than expected, which backed up surplus inventory, and hiked gasoline demand; and much refinery capacity is being dedicated to selling diesel to Europe etc. at nosebleed prices. I.e., EU is willing to pay MUCH more for product, so it's being exported!

So blame Europe for hiking US prices; globalization, baby!!

Brian H | March 5, 2012

P.S. meant to add that the winter was milder in many areas than expected, which lead to the mismatch of supply/demand for refined product.

Jason S | March 5, 2012

Heating fuel demand was lower?!!?!

(*&%$ diesel prices were already pretty high, about 50 cents more than regular. The recent price hikes just closed the gap to 30 cents or so.

US exported more gasoline products in 2011 than ever before. Guessing 2012 will do same. I doubt it went to Europe, more likely to closer neighbors -- shipping costs will ruin profit margins.

Brian H | March 5, 2012

Diesel = heating oil. Same stuff; the heating oil is tagged with a red colour here to discourage use as a cheaper diesel. And the US has indeed begun exporting very large quantities of diesel to Europe.

And yes, the winter was mild in the high-demand areas. So far.

brian | April 17, 2012

I wish to cast a strong vote for the inclusion of ACC. I have had it on two Audis. It makes driving on semi-gongested highways a pleasure instead of an irritant. Given how many different manufacturers and lower level brands offer ACC, I am surprised that this is not an option and does give me pause to purchase the vehicle. I use ACC multiple times a week and consider it a game changer technology.

EdG | April 20, 2012

ACC (Autonomous/Automatic/Adaptive... Cruise Control) seems like a good idea, but I think it has limited benefit over normal cruise control.

Example: If there's someone in front of you going faster, they're out of the picture. If they're going slower, then the ACC feature shows itself. But if the car in front of you is using ACC with another car in front of it, then you have a stability problem. The more cars in a row that have ACC (and they have to all be set at higher than the front car) the worse this gets. With 4 or more cars, you'd basically get a wave of reaction traveling back, stimulated by even the slightest change in speed from the front car. The result would be a typical traffic scenario. [That's what traffic speed oscillations are caused by, after all.] With enough cars (4? 5?), it would become stop-and-go soon enough.

I'd love to see a 2 minute video of 3 cars all with ACC set at 65 mph with a front one set at 60 mph. Even if they were traveling flat and straight, I'd bet 2 minutes would be enough to show the problem clearly.

So, the more cars that are interacting, the worse things get. And ACC won't help.

Must be nice when only following one car, though.

Kallisman | April 20, 2012

Maybe the ACC could be a little smarter and try to calculate the average speed of the car in front. Then keep that at a proper distance.

Timo | April 20, 2012

Maybe the ACC could be a little smarter and try to calculate the average speed of the car in front. Then keep that at a proper distance.

There are systems like that in some of the latest MB models. They work at least in slower speeds and even stop your car if car in front of you stop before hitting it. Have never actually driven one of those but it does look like it actually works from different videos I have seen.

EdG | April 21, 2012

@Kallisman: The system would have to be smarter than most people. The problem is the same one people face when there are many cars in a row trying to go faster than some one car in front.

The only thing some averaging algorithm might accomplish would be a dampening of the oscillation, paid for with a lower average speed by the follower.

The (partial) solution is to have communication among many cars' systems so that the effects from cars far in front of you (2+ cars away) can be used as input. You can emulate this a little bit when driving by watching the car in front of the car in front of you. But that only knocks out one level; where I am there are often 5+ cars in a row causing the problem, and in rush hour much more than that.

jerry3 | April 21, 2012

FWIW, although I don't have ACC on my Prius--ACC is only on some 2010+ --those who do haven't reported any kind of problem like that in the forums. They all think that's it's great. Perhaps they don't see the problem because there is a "short" and "long" distance setting and most use the long.

Brian H | April 21, 2012

Wouldn't it be more fun to fall well back, then goose it to within a few yards of the next bumper, then repeat, repeat, .... Sure to cause the trailing cars' ACC to become neurotic!


Brian H | April 21, 2012

Or achieve the same effect by switching back and forth between "long" and "short"!

jkirkebo | April 22, 2012

"FWIW, although I don't have ACC on my Prius--ACC is only on some 2010+ --those who do haven't reported any kind of problem like that in the forums. They all think that's it's great. Perhaps they don't see the problem because there is a "short" and "long" distance setting and most use the long."

How long is the "long" setting ? I read about some MB version a few years back, the longest setting was 2 seconds (!). Totally useless as we are supposed to keep at least 3 seconds between cars. I usually keep 4-5 seconds back.

Mike_ModelS_P457 | April 22, 2012

My HS250 has ACC and a variable eating for distance. It is spooky how well it does. I'm not a big user of it, but would like to see it on the Model S. If the promise was the car would be on par with the 5-series then the ACC is a must, isn't it?

jerry3 | April 22, 2012

It took me some time to find the answer [to what the following distances are]

long=160ft(50m); medium=130ft(40m); short=100ft(30m)

So if my math is correct, 100 km/h (63 mph) is 27.8 m/sec so the following distance when set to long is 1.8 seconds. Traveling at 60 km/h (40 mph) gives 3.0 seconds.

This appears to be the same on every Toyota/Lexus that has this feature. I guess that it's telling us that the cruise control's ECU's reaction time is much shorter than the typical driver's 1.2 seconds.

I've found that cruise control kills mpg so badly that I haven't used it since about the first year of Prius driving. I don't know if the adaptive cruise control is any better, but my guess would be that it's not significantly different.

petero | April 22, 2012

I can live with CC. In lieu of ACC, I would prefer drivers checking their rearview mirror and move over when “we” approach and woosh pass them. A little courtesy, not necessarily advanced technology.
I know, dream on...

My most unforgettable teen driving experience was at 6:30AM, on beautiful Sunday in West Los Angeles, circa 1965, I was driving at 65 mph going north on the 405 Freeway approaching the Sepulveda Pass. Not a car in sight . I checked my rearview mirror and I see in the far distance a speck of a car, it seemed to be at least a mile away. Seconds later, I hear this loud roar and was passed by a 427 Shelby Cobra going full tilt, moments later it was long gone. It scared the crap out me, and from that day forward I always check the rear mirror.

BYT | April 22, 2012

@petro, in my teens, I was probably that guy in that car, but alas, I never owned a Shelby Cobra or was a though in my fathers mind in 1965... ;)

jkirkebo | April 23, 2012

Wow, 50m on the "long" setting ? Why can't they offer something sensible like 100m ? 50m back is bordering on risking having the cops pull you over, and if it's wet you get all the spray from the car in front on your windshield.

Will the ACC really slam on the brakes if the car in front does that ? I haven't ever driven a car where the CC controlled the brakes.