I have made no secret about my own personal love affair with cruise control. Ever since it was available, I have used it especially because if I don't use cruise control, I wind up getting speeding tickets. I can't help myself if my foot is on the pedal, I want to push down. 

Automotive cruise control system on the steering wheel

My new favorite thing is what they're calling adaptive cruise control, The system uses radar sensors in your bumper in the front of your car to make sure that you maintain a specific distance from the car in front of you. (It's fantastic, even in traffic.) 

Since cruise control was first invented, one of the ideas put forward was that if you use cruise control, you're driving is more efficient, so you use less gas. But that brings the question forward, can anybody prove it? 

Gas Guage Empty

According to MotorTrend.com,
Absolutely. If you're cruising along a mostly level highway, electronics generally are far better at avoiding the little speed-up/slow-down events that are inevitably caused by a weary accelerator ankle or an inattentive mind. It's those changes in momentum that waste fuel, because force equals mass times acceleration.” 

Well, that's great, but actually how much gas do you save?

Close up empty Petrol, gasoline gauge dash board in car with digital warning sign of run out of fuel turn on on black background. Low level of fuel show on speedometer dashboard.
Yaraslau Mikheyeu

MotorTrend.com says,
A Natural Resources Canada study found that setting the cruise control at 80 kph (49.7 mph) versus cycling from 75 to 85 kph (46.6 to 52.8 mph) every 18 seconds consumes 20 percent less fuel (and dramatically reduces motion sickness). Studies by CNN/Money and others quote more modest claims in single-digit percentages.” 

I find it interesting that the same basic rules also apply to electric vehicles, and I also find adaptive cruise control more effective for me because it takes care of my nervous foot. No sitting in traffic blipping the throttle sometimes when I feel like I need to move forward. 


Use that cruise control. It will save you money. 

On gas and on speeding tickets. 

Does Cruise Control Really Save You Gas and Money? (thefw.com) 

Does Cruise Control Save Gas? (motortrend.com) 

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Gallery Credit: AJ Brewster


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