After a long day at work or a strenuous stretch of traveling, your car’s cruise control system might just be your new best friend.
With the push of a button, you can take your foot off the gas, stretch your legs, and simply focus on steering. That might not sound like a big deal, but delegating even simple tasks to your vehicle’s computer can dramatically reduce driver fatigue over long trips.
Most automakers are tailoring their adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist functions toward highway tranquility, but Porsche’s in-development InnoDrive technology looks to inject a little performance flavor into the mix.
According to a report by Car and Driver, the hotshots from Stuttgart are refining a system that will allow a Porsche vehicle to hold up to 0.7g of lateral acceleration with no throttle input from the driver.
InnoDrive works by measuring pavement grades and turn radii alongside basic information like speed, elevation, distance between vehicles, and lane position. The driver can preset his cornering aggression ahead of time, allowing the vehicle to power through turns at anywhere between 0.5g and 0.7g. The car won’t steer itself, however.
You may find it a bit silly that the maker of some of the purest, most ferocious sports cars in the world would design a system that takes the driver partially out of the equation, but it’s not really about that. As Porsche says, “faster is more efficient,” meaning that the more speed you carry into a corner, the less energy it takes to speed up afterward.
According to Porsche’s studies, InnoDrive can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 10 percent, while also shaving 2 percent off average travel times. Outside of assisting with the right pedal, InnoDrive also schedules acceleration events to occur when the engine is in its most efficient operating range. The computer is also programmed to build momentum ahead of inclines.
InnoDrive is expected to arrive in a production model by decade’s end.