Delphi's Forewarn kept drivers safely apart
Traditional cruise control, which allows a driver to set a speed for the vehicle, was a boon to long-distance drivers — when traveling on clear highways. But on even mildly congested freeways, drivers have to intervene often to adjust to slower traffic.
To commemorate 25 years of PACE Awards for supplier innovation, Automotive News each week looks back at one of the many winners.
- Delphi Delco Electronic Systems
- Trade name:
- Forewarn adaptive cruise control
- By bringing sensor data together with a car's electronics, Delphi created a system that made cruise control safer.
- Why it resonated:
- Consumers, already acquainted with speed-based cruise control, quickly saw the advantage of choosing a distance to set between their vehicle and the one ahead on a busy highway.
Delphi Delco's Forewarn adaptive cruise control allowed a driver to use cruise control in traffic. On an open road, it behaved like standard cruise control, maintaining a set speed. But when radar sensors detected that the vehicle was closing in on a slower one ahead, Forewarn decelerated to maintain a preset distance from it. A red light, or the brakes, would come on if the interval closed too quickly.
Adaptive Cruise Control functioned at speeds of up to 112 mph and disconnected with warning if the vehicle's speed dropped below 18 mph. The system also could distinguish moving and immobile objects when rounding turns. The driver could deactivate or override it at any time, or reset the desired trailing distance, thus retaining ultimate control of the vehicle. The technology was minimally affected by weather, but able to detect when adverse conditions such as snow or mud inhibited its operation.
Forewarn won a PACE Award in 2000 for Delphi Delco Electronics Systems, the Kokomo, Ind., unit of the supplier giant.
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