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Adapting a vehicle

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  • Adapting a vehicle

    Has anyone adapted a vehicle for hand controls? My driving rehab specialist says I need to find something with cruise control right on the steering wheel, and it seems all that is there is bluetooth and stereo controls. Any idea of vehicles that have cruise control on the steering wheel? Thanks in advance. This process is so frustrating and time-consuming.
    fides quaerens intellectum

  • #2
    Hey Joy, there are lots of cars with cruise control on the steering wheel. In fact, if the car offers cruise, it's almost certainly on the wheel itself.

    There are more advanced cruise control systems out there that would be a boon to MSers, but they tend to be found on pricier vehicles. Since I do a car magazine about Nissans and Infinitis, I know plenty about those cars. If you can afford it, here's a bit direct from Infiniti on some of their newest safety technology on the Infiniti FX. Its safety features will be on other Infiniti models soon (the EX, which I own, has some already). It's actually really, really cool. If you still need more assistance driving, then hand controls would be the next step.

    Advanced Technology and Safety Systems
    The new FX includes an array of advanced available technology systems. The Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) system uses the laser rangefinder from the Intelligent Cruise Control’s (ICC) system and analyzes closing speeds to an obstacle ahead to help prevent or reduce damage caused by a rear-end collision. FX is the only vehicle in its class (besides the Infiniti EX) to have IBA.

    If a forward collision is imminent with the vehicle in front of the FX and the driver must take immediate avoidance action, the system sounds a warning to prompt driver action. When a rear-end collision cannot be avoided by the FX driver’s action, the system activates the FX’s brakes to decelerate the vehicle, thereby helping to reduce damage resulting from the collision. IBA can apply up to 0.5g braking force (1.0g is considered close to the maximum possible braking force).

    Also available on the FX is a Distance Control Assist (DCA) system. Designed for low-speed, heavy traffic situations, DCA uses the Intelligent Cruise Control sensors to measure distance to the car ahead.

    The DCA allows one-foot driving in heavy traffic – the driver depresses the accelerator to move forward, but when the car ahead slows, DCA “pushes back” on the accelerator pedal and automatically applies the brakes, even to a stop. The driver then depresses the accelerator to get moving again. DCA will only apply a predetermined amount of brake force. If the closing distance to a vehicle ahead of the FX decreases too rapidly, a warning will sound, alerting the driver to further depress the brakes.

    The available Intelligent Cruise Control (Full Speed Range) system combines the brakes, throttle sensor and laser rangefinder with the cruise control system to automatically maintain a set distance between the FX and a vehicle in front of it. The system assists the driver with acceleration and deceleration in the low speed range (between 0 and 25 mph), such as when driving in congested traffic and stops the FX if traffic requires.

    Available on all 2009 FXs is the advanced Infiniti Lane Departure Prevention (LDP) system, which takes Infiniti’s existing Lane Departure Warning system (introduced on the previous generation FX) one step further. LDP utilizes the FX’s Vehicle Dynamic Control system to apply slight brake pressure to the wheels opposite the side of the lane departure direction to help prevent the vehicle from inadvertently traveling out of its intended lane.

    The Infiniti FX’s Around View Monitor system, first introduced on the new Infiniti EX35, utilizes four small superwide-angle cameras – mounted on the front, side and rear of the FX – to project an all-around view of potential objects on every side of the vehicle, helping reduce blind spots when parking.

    The system uses advanced image processing to provide a unique “Birds-Eye View” of the vehicle, making it easy for the driver to position the FX for parallel parking by simultaneously confirming the exact placement of the front and rear of the vehicle.
    Dave Bexfield