Toyota Should Talk to Apple About the Cruise Control ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Toyota Should Talk to Apple About the Cruise Control

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Toyota Should Talk to Apple About the Cruise Control

Back in February, Apple co-found Wozniak weighed in on the safety of Prius, noting he could create an 'unintended acceleration' in his Prius repeatedly. This made news, of course, but it turns out he just didn't understand his cruise control.

But then, he doesn't seem to be alone. According to Ward's auto, Toyota has been looking into the complaints being made about the cruise control. It seems a lot of people are complaining. 11% of the complaints about the 2010 Prius made with the NHTSA) cite difficulty getting cruise control to turn off.

According to Toyota, the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) which is optional on the Prius V is causing some confusion with drivers. If you hold the stalk up for one second, the Prius will accelerate five mph. Hold it up for four seconds and you will accelerate 20 mph.

This sounds just like the situation Wozniak described at the Discovery Forum.

Also, the adaptive cruise control will speed up or slow down the car based on the speed of the car in front of you. On curves, the DRCC will have trouble detecting cars in front of you. There are two complaints at the NHTSA citing a crash with stationary objects when the cruise control was enabled.

Toyota is continuing to investigate this problem.  They should also send a note to Wozniak about this before he complains in a public forum once again about his Prius.

As an aside, Toyota notes that the Prius V makes up 8% of sales so far. The Prius V is the top end of the Prius spectrum with all the bells and whistles.

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