US: Chrysler 300C gets adaptive cruise control option

By just-auto.com editorial team | 15 November 2006

Chrysler's 300 Limited and 300C will be the first vehicles offering tier-one automotive supplier Hella's Lidar-based (LIght Detection And Ranging) adaptive cruise control (ACC) technology as optional equipment late in the 2007 model year.

At about half the cost of a standard, radar-based ACC system, Hella's unit is parts of its driver assistance systems (DAS) technologies.

"ACC systems make driving more comfortable," said Jean-Francois Tarabbia, CEO of the supplier's automotive electronics unit. "When activated, [our] system allows drivers to keep their vehicles at a specified distance from the traffic in front. [It] automatically brakes or accelerates the vehicle depending upon traffic conditions."

Using, opto-electronic measuring technology, Hella's ACC employs a Lidar sensor that has a range of nearly one-and-a-half football fields (up to 500 feet) in clear-weather conditions. The unit also takes inputs from the vehicle's speed, steering and yaw-rate sensors (used primarily for stability systems).

High, lateral resolution detects the distance to an object, and its side-to-side position and dimensions.

Tarabbia added. "A number of other vehicle manufacturers also are contemplating using our ACC unit" but did not specify the companies.

Hella's DAS system combines applications including an ultrasonic-based parallel parking system, rear-end collision warning, lane- departure warning (LDW), rearview cameras and sensors with advanced image- processing software, according to Tarabbia.

Vehicles equipped with these features could detect potential accident situations, provide warnings or, like the ACC system, automatically engage a vehicle's brakes to maintain a pre-set distance between vehicles, he noted.

"Our long-term objective is to greatly reduce traffic accidents and injuries by providing safety-system devices for the broadest possible range of vehicles," Tarabbia said.