Drivers' engagement level in Adaptive Cruise Control while distracted or impaired

Yuqing Wu, Linda Ng Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is designed for convenience to maintain a set speed and specified distance from a lead vehicle. However, use of ACC may change driving patterns and perceptions over time. Many drivers perceive safety benefits associated with ACC even though the safety implications are not always clear. This study examined the factors that can influence the frequency of ACC use with surveys distributed to ACC owners in Washington State. A cluster analysis was conducted to group drivers based on how often they activated and used ACC under various driving scenarios. Four clusters emerged that showed a range of use from those who rarely used ACC in any situation (low engagement group) to those who used it for almost all situations regardless of whether it is appropriate or not (high engagement group). An ordered logit model was used to predict the likelihood of being in one of the four clusters. Drivers that were less likely to use ACC in distracting or impaired situations tend to be older, were not willing to re-purchase a similar vehicle with ACC, and were generally confused on how to use the cruise speed setting. Drivers who reported higher overall use of ACC also used the system in situations that can be considered distracting or risky, which can negate the overall benefits of ACC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-15
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
StatePublished - Jun 29 2015


  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Driver behavior
  • Driver distraction
  • Driver safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Applied Psychology


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