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Efficient, as in fuel-wise?
I am surprised that you find anywhere in the UK, particularly in the south-east, where traffic is so light that it is safe to use cruise control.
Quote from: another_someone on 24/04/2007 01:05:54I am surprised that you find anywhere in the UK, particularly in the south-east, where traffic is so light that it is safe to use cruise control.The UK isn't really a very traffic-jammed place. Go to Italy or somewhere, you can't drive. Bumpy roads, tons of traffic - hell. Places such as South Korea, tons of cars, take you about 1 hour to travel 10 miles. The UK's traffic is really light.
I am surprised that you find anywhere in the UK, particularly in the south-east, where traffic is so light that it is safe to use cruise control.Cruise control can improve fuel efficiency over normal driving, but it is not optimal efficiency. In order to optimise fuel consumption, one would normally allow speed to be picked up when travelling downhill and some of the speed to be used to help coast up the next gradient, and so running at something closer to constant power than constant speed (a lot depends on exactly what speed you are travelling - at very high speeds, the increase in downhill speed will lose more in aerodynamic drag - but if you are trying to optimise fuel consumption, then you would not be travelling at those speeds).Another reason for trying to build up speed on downhill stretches is that you want to spend as much time as possible in top gear, while running at the lowest speed consistent will allowing youself to use top gear. If you have built up momentum on the downhill run, this will allow you to take the next uphill gradient without dropping a gear.The other thing to bear in mind is that using cruise control makes steering more difficult, as you will not as easily be able to use torque to pull you around corners (not so much of a problem in those parts of the US where you have miles and miles of absolutely straight roads, but there are not many places in the UK you could find that).
It does become very useful along a particular 5 mile stretch of the M1 where they are widening both sides which currently has a controlled speeding zone of 40 mph...this is to continue until December 2008 and I use it up to three times a week...and so...it is only used on the motorway where changing lanes and steering hardly comes into play.
I presume the cpu must be making thousands of calculations a second or is it just as simple as it being tied into the speedometer and not many decisions are being made at all ?i don't know...do you ?
I know that stretch all too well - it is about 5 miles from home, and my local motorway (and has caused an increase of traffic on the local parallel roads).Southbound, mostly not that much of a problem; but for some reason, northbound can come to a grinding halt from many miles before you hit the road works.The other problem is that overnight they tend to shut off two of the exits - the one's that I would be using.All of that work is to support the additional traffic load expected by the expansion of Luton airport - so not only will we actually not have a better motorway (i.e. they spend millions of pounds to allow the motorway to be just as bad with the extra traffic load as it is today with todays traffic load), but we will have to contend with extra air traffic from Luton (which is 4 miles away).
Quote from: neilep on 24/04/2007 00:37:52I presume the cpu must be making thousands of calculations a second or is it just as simple as it being tied into the speedometer and not many decisions are being made at all ?i don't know...do you ?Cruise control predates the use of microprocessors in cars.The only real decision the computer will have to make is whether to change gear - the speed is simply locked with the speedometer.
I thought that perhaps nowadays they might have found a way to over calculate and over complicate it !..
Fulham is now south of the Thames? 
My cruise control only works at higher speeds (I think only greater than 45 mph, but it might be as low as 35).Dick
Is it more efficient to use it rather than using my foot ?
Quote from: neilep on 24/04/2007 00:37:52Is it more efficient to use it rather than using my foot ?I don't know about more efficient, but I've always found that using an internal combustion engine is much less strenuous than pushing the car with my foot. But then again, I'm a sloth.