Current generation adaptive cruise control systems do not prevent phantom traffic jams.

University researchers tested adaptive cruise control (ACC) systems on a rural roadway in Arizona.

Tucson,Arizona,United States

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Lesson Learned

Open-road tests show that adaptive cruise control systems can amplify breaking behaviors, potentially causing "phantom jams."
  • After the initial car slowed down each car following it showed a "progressively more extreme braking response"
  • ACC system amplified initial disturbances by as much as six times
  • Manufacturers of these systems should consider traffic impacts when designing ACC systems along with safety.


See also: Gunter, George, et al, "Are Commercially Implemented Adaptive Cruise Control Systems String Stable?," ArXiv, May 2019.

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Road Test Shows Some Adaptive Cruise Control Systems Can Amplify Phantom Jams: Taking Driver-Assist Technology Past Comfort and into Traffic Relief

Author: Vanderbilt University

Published By: ScienceDaily

Source Date: 05/09/2019

URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190508134501.htm

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Lesson Analyst:

Chris Bischak


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United States

Goal Areas



intelligent cruise control, ICC, ACC, Intelligent Speed Adaptation, ISA

Lesson ID: 2019-00913