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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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Wrong Direction
By btc909 on 6/29/2011 2:58:16 PM , Rating: 2
What Porsche should do is yes control the throttle but towards fuel ecomony coupled with a adaptive cruise control. Drivers tend to give a vehicle gas but not to either maintain or gain speed wasting fuel. Modern engines shut the fuel flow off when you are off the gas. You can actually hurt fuel ecomony on a level surface if you are slighty on the gas using fuel plus the drag from the engine running instead of coasting. Say if Porsche system detect what the elevation is, you are maintaing a constant speed & is monitoring the distance of the vehicle in front of you a Porsche system can modulate the throttle to maintain your chosen speed. I would also add very minor steering adjustments as well not detected in the steering wheel to maintain perfectly straight travel. This system would allow higher speed limits as well.




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