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Porsche ACC InnoDrive screen  (Source: Autoblog)
System takes control of the pedals leaving the driver to steer

Walk up to most people and ask what they think of when the name Porsche is uttered and many will immediately think 911 and racing. Porsche is getting further and further from its pure sports car roots even though it still makes some of the best sports cars around. Most of the Porsche models sold today aren't the sports cars the company currently makes (911, Boxster, Cayman), but larger vehicles like the Panamera sedan/hatchback, and Cayenne crossover.

While performance remains a priority for Porsche, the company is looking into ways to make all of its vehicles safer and more efficient. Part of the investigation into efficiency and safety is a new system that takes adaptive cruise control a lot further than simply being able to slow down a vehicle in emergency situations.

The new system Porsche is working on is called ACC InnoDrive and it completely removes the driver's feet from the pedals. The car learns the route the driver takes complete with estimates of the speed limit, curves, and elevation changes and then translates that into data the car uses to completely control the pedals.

The goal is to create a car that constantly monitors speed, throttle, and other aspects for a smooth and comfortable ride that optimizes efficiency. Autoblog was able to take a ride in a prototype Porsche Panamera S that is equipped with the system. The hardware to make the ACC InnoDrive function is a second ECU in the trunk of the car that gathers additional data. 

Autoblog says that allowing the car to take over the pedals completely was unnerving in some parts, but the system performance flawlessly.

ACC InnoDrive has three modes: Comfort, Dynamic, and Off. The Dynamic mode is where the pedals are taken over by the car. Apparently, the system will bring your car to a complete stop, slow for curves, and knows the speed limit so you just have to steer. The system is expected to be production-ready in about three years and of course will be optional. InnoDrive is expected to be offered on most Porsche vehicles, including its sports cars.

Porsche did note that its system would not touch the steering wheel. It feels the hands-on aspect of steering is integral to the Porsche experience. 

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Fancy cruise control
By Dug on 6/29/2011 1:12:50 PM , Rating: 3
It kind of defeats the purpose of having a Porsche. I also wouldn't buy one with an automatic.

RE: Fancy cruise control
By Flunk on 6/29/2011 1:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
The Panamera defeats the purpose of having a Porsche already. This is another toy for the sort of people who buy them.

RE: Fancy cruise control
By aharris02 on 6/29/2011 2:01:19 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. Not that I own a Porsche, but I'm disgusted everytime I see a Panamera on the road.

Station wagons are and should have remained a foul relic of decades past, not produced by a sports-car manufacturer in 2011.

RE: Fancy cruise control
By silverblue on 6/29/2011 6:06:37 PM , Rating: 2
I somewhat agree about the Panamera, however what about everyone's views of the Cayenne?

SWs (or estate cars as we know them) might not work for some people but do work for others. People carriers (MPVs) and estates are relatively popular in Europe. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the increase in popularity of people carriers gave birth to a surge in people buying large 4x4s even if they weren't planning on using them for that purpose. There must be something soothing about lording it over everyone else on the school run... and there's definitely something unnerving about someone sat right up your backside in their roadgoing tank paying more attention to their brats than to the road.

RE: Fancy cruise control
By FITCamaro on 6/29/11, Rating: 0
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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