Here’s Why I Love Adaptive Cruise Control

I tell anyone who will listen about my love for adaptive cruise control. Adaptive cruise control is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I’m sincerely thrilled to have it — here’s why.

As many of you know, I have three cars: a Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG station wagon, a 1997 Land Rover Defender and a Ford GT. I drive the Defender and the GT most of the time, but I bring the E63 wagon along when I have to go on long drives, typically to film my videos. For these trips, I often have to go up to Orange County (an hour and a half from where I live) or Los Angeles (two hours or more from where I live), so it’s nice to have the more comfortable car.

And it’s also nice to have adaptive cruise control.

Although adaptive cruise control is designed for use at highway speeds, to slow down and speed up based on traffic in front of you, I’ve found that I’m extremely lucky in that the adaptive cruise control system in my Mercedes, called Distronic, works at low speeds and even goes down to zero. What this means is that I can use adaptive cruise in heavy traffic, and I don’t have to worry about my footwork. Basically, I just steer, and the car does all the starting and stopping for me — and in Southern California traffic, that’s really, really nice.

As a result, I use this car pretty much every time I’m on the highway and every time I’m in traffic, just to use this feature. I took my Mercedes wagon across the entire U.S. back in June when I moved to California, and I never turned on cruise control once — but on a typical Thursday afternoon coming back from filming in Orange County, I’ll use it for 75 percent of the entire drive. And this means I don’t have to worry about stopping and starting in traffic — and it also means I don’t get as frustrated by traffic, since the car is doing the hard stuff. I love it.

Naturally, the car enthusiasts reading this will rail against the arrival of robots to drive for us, but I remind you that I also have my Defender and my Ford GT. On the occasions when I actually want to drive, and when I want to go have fun, I bring those cars — usually at least once every day or two. That way, I can drive when I want to actually enjoy driving. But on the occasions where driving is no fun, where it’s borin, slow and awful, adaptive cruise does the work for me. It’s a great setup — and I’ll never again buy another daily driver without adaptive cruise control.

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