Buick Regal Owners & Service Manuals

Buick Regal: Adaptive Cruise Control Description and Operation

The adaptive cruise control system is an enhanced cruise control system with the ability to sense and react to forward traffic. Compared to the common cruise control system found on many vehicles, the main functional enhancement of the adaptive cruise control system is the ability to detect the presence of a vehicle in the path of the adaptive cruise control vehicle. Adaptive cruise control retains the existing cruise control feature that controls the vehicle speed to the driver selected speed. However, adaptive cruise control allows a driver to set and maintain a following distance to the preceding nearest vehicle in the path ahead. The active safety control module controller calculates a follow speed limit to ensure an acceptable distance is maintained to the preceding vehicle in front, should one be present. The adaptive cruise control system automatically adjusts the speed when the vehicle comes up behind a slower travelling vehicle in front. The system applies limited automatic braking and throttle control without driver input when necessary to maintain the set following distance. The preceding vehicle's speed and acceleration along with the active cruise control vehicle speed and acceleration and the distance between the two vehicles are factors used by the active safety control module controller to determine the follow speed limit. The vehicle speeds up to the original driver selected set speed when the pathway becomes clear without driver input.

The adaptive cruise control functionality depends on various modules on the vehicle to function and each module performs a function that is critical to the proper operation of the adaptive cruise control system. Adaptive cruise control will not operate if any components fail. Communication between modules is via serial data. The following is a functional description of the active safety control module and the other associated components:

  • Active Safety Control Module
  • Body Control Module
  • Digital Map Module
  • Engine Control Module
  • Electronic Brake Control Module
  • Transmission Control Module
  • Instrument Cluster
  • Cruise Control Switch
  • Gap Switch

Active Safety Control Module

The active safety control module analyzes data from various modules, sensors, and switches to provide enhanced safety features. In addition to enhanced safety features, the active safety control module provides the adaptive cruise control system functionality. The active safety control module analyzes data from the long range radar sensor module, front short range radar sensor modules, and frontview camera module to identify and classify objects in the road environment. The system scans the road environment to detect targets within its specified field of view. The active safety control module then sends throttle and/or brake commands to the engine control module (ECM) and electronic brake control module (EBCM) via serial data in order to control the vehicle acceleration/deceleration based on the data from the modules. The ECM and EBCM provide throttle control and automatic braking needed for proper cruise speed adjustment. The following is a list of the active safety control module functions pertaining to the adaptive cruise control functionality:

  • The active safety control module processes the road environment to get data concerning any vehicle ahead of the adaptive cruise control vehicle. Detection, parameter estimation, tracking, object classification and diagnostics are the primary functions. When an object is detected, the controller calculates the object range, range rate, acceleration and azimuth angle parameters.
  • The active safety control module performs adaptive cruise control state processing automatically - distance control or speed control. The adaptive cruise control operates in 2 possible states - cruise or follow. The normal operating state is cruise, whereby the vehicle speed is controlled to match the driver selected set speed. When a preceding forward target is identified, the adaptive cruise control system will automatically transition into the follow speed state to provide proper lane spacing behind the target vehicle in front. The preceding vehicle's speed and acceleration, with the adaptive cruise control vehicle speed, acceleration and distance between the two vehicles will be used to determine the adaptive cruise control follow speed limit. The adaptive cruise control follow speed limit will ensure that an acceptable distance is maintained to the preceding vehicle.
  • The active safety control module determines the follow speed limit for throttle control by the ECM.
  • The active safety control module arbitrates the adaptive cruise control system brake and throttle control between the EBCM and the ECM.
  • The active safety control module requests brake light activation during automatic braking.
  • The active safety control module provides operational feedback to the vehicle driver. The active safety control module sends signals for telltales and messages to be displayed on the instrument cluster or driver information center.

Body Control Module

The following are the adaptive cruise control System functions provided by the body control module (BCM):

  • The BCM provides a translating gateway for the high speed GMLAN serial data circuit.
  • The BCM reads all cruise control switches and the gap switch. The active safety control module monitors a variety of user operated switches from the BCM switch status information sent via the GMLAN serial data circuit.
  • The BCM illuminates the brake light based on a GMLAN message from the active safety control module during automatic braking.
  • The BCM measures the brake pedal position and sends brake pedal travel status via GMLAN serial data circuit to the ECM. The ECM disengages the adaptive cruise control system when the brake is applied by the driver pressing the brake pedal.
  • The BCM serves as a gateway to the instrument cluster and driver information center. The BCM will generate visual warnings based on high speed GMLAN serial data messages from the active safety control module.

Digital Map Module

The following are the adaptive cruise control System functions provided by the Digital Map Module:

  • The Digital Map Module (DMM) is capable of determining vehicle position and localization and then communicating navigational and predictive data
  • The Digital Map Module provides information to the Cruise system that the vehicle is on an acceptable freeway or highway for engaging the feature
  • The Digital Map Module provides road information to the Cruise system about road characteristics, like exits and merge areas that will alert the system to changing road conditions

Engine Control Module

The following are the adaptive cruise control system functions performed by the engine control module (ECM):

  • The ECM provides the electronic throttle control to the adaptive cruise control System. The ECM is also responsible for determining when a driver is overriding the adaptive cruise control throttle position by pressing the accelerator pedal.
  • The ECM processes the cruise control switch requests received via the GMLAN serial data circuit from the BCM. Engaging and disengaging the adaptive cruise control system are functions performed by the ECM.
  • The ECM determines the driver selected vehicle speed. Unless the adaptive cruise control module requests a lower vehicle speed, the ECM will control the vehicle speed to the driver selected set speed.
  • The ECM allows automatic braking without disengaging the adaptive cruise control.

Electronic Brake Control Module

The following are the adaptive cruise control System functions performed by the electronic brake control module (EBCM):

  • The EBCM controls the operation of the Antilock Brake System.
  • The EBCM provides automatic braking for the adaptive cruise control system. The active safety control module will request vehicle deceleration via high speed GMLAN serial data circuit.
  • The EBCM determines when the driver - applied brake pressure is active. The EBCM will communicate this status via the GMLAN serial data circuit to the BCM.
  • The EBCM releases vehicle automatic braking when there is a throttle override by the driver pressing the accelerator.
  • The EBCM predicts brake temperatures. Due to automatic braking, the brake system may overheat. When the brakes are overheated, the EBCM requests the adaptive cruise control System to be temporarily shut down by the ECM until the brakes cool to a normal operating temperature.

Transmission Control Module

The transmission control module (TCM) provides a down shift to protect the brakes. When the TCM detects some driver braking activity or adaptive cruise control automatic braking activity, the TCM down shifts the vehicle transmission to increase engine braking. This helps reduce braking activity, extend brake pad life and reduce brake system overheating.

Instrument Cluster

The driver information center is a part of the instrument cluster and displays the adaptive cruise control system warning messages. The active safety control module requests messages to be displayed on the driver information center by sending a GMLAN request to the BCM. The BCM sends a GMLAN serial data request to the instrument cluster demanding the display of the warning message. When the message is acknowledged by the driver and the cause of the message resolved, the driver information center turns the message off. The adaptive cruise control system will not operate if the driver information center fails.

Cruise Control Switch

The cruise control switch, functionally is a common feature that is shared between the adaptive cruise control system and the regular cruise control system. The adaptive cruise control system will not operate if any cruise switch fails. The cruise control switch comprises the following cruise control function switches:

  • On/Off switch
  • Set/decrease switch
  • Resume/increase switch

The cruise control function switches are arranged in a resistive ladder design whereby each switch function is set up with different resistance values. The BCM through the cruise control switch signal circuit detects a predetermined voltage value when any cruise control switch function is activated. The associated cruise control function signal detected by the BCM is then sent to the engine control module (ECM) as a GMLAN serial data circuit message. The ECM on receiving the message provides the cruise control function requested by the BCM. The ECM is responsible for recognizing and responding to cruise control switch requests sent by the BCM. The cruise control function switches are used by the ECM to communicate to the active safety control module the driver selected vehicle speed. The driver selected vehicle speed is communicated through GMLAN serial data circuit to the active safety control module and the BCM. The adaptive cruise control system engages and adjusts vehicle speeds based on the activation of the following cruise control function switches:

Cruise Control On/Off Switch

The BCM monitors the switch signal circuit in order to determine when the On/Off switch is disabled or activated. The BCM detects a predetermined voltage value on the switch signal circuit. The On/Off switch state is then relayed to the ECM via the GMLAN serial data circuit. The ECM sends the On/Off switch input status to the active safety control module. When the On/Off switch is turned ON, the adaptive cruise control system enters either a standby enabled or a standby disabled mode. The standby enabled mode indicates that every condition required for the adaptive cruise control system to function has been met, but the adaptive cruise control is not engaged. When the adaptive cruise control is in the standby disabled mode, the conditions necessary for the adaptive cruise control system to function has not been met. When the On/Off switch is turned OFF, the adaptive cruise control will enter the disabled mode. The adaptive cruise control will not activate in the disabled mode.

Cruise Control Set/Decrease Switch

The adaptive cruise control system is engaged when the adaptive cruise control On/Off switch is turned ON and the set/decrease switch is momentarily pressed and released. When the set/decrease switch is pressed, the selected vehicle speed is set to the current vehicle speed by the ECM. The vehicle speed must be at or greater than 40 km/h (25 MPH). The selected vehicle speed is displayed by the driver information center. While in the engaged state, the selected vehicle speed and the following distance can be adjusted. Pressing and holding the set/decrease switch, when the adaptive cruise control system is engaged, will decrease the selected vehicle speed without deactivating the adaptive cruise control.

Momentarily pressing and releasing the set/decrease switch, when the adaptive cruise control is engaged, decreased the selected vehicle speed by 1.6 km/h (1 MPH) for each time that the set/decrease switch is pressed.

Cruise Control Resume/Increase Switch

The resume/increase switch is used in order to increase the selected vehicle speed when adaptive cruise control is active. The amount selected vehicle speed can be increased from the resume/increase switch depends on how long the switch is pressed. The presence of a slower moving vehicle in the path of the adaptive cruise control vehicle will limit the extent to which the selected vehicle speed can be achieved.

If there is no preceding vehicle in front, limiting the adaptive cruise control vehicle acceleration, then the vehicle speed that is attained is the new selected vehicle speed. The current selected vehicle speed is displayed by the driver information center. Acceleration is terminated when the resume/increase switch is released. Momentarily pressing and releasing the resume/increase switch will allow the selected vehicle to accelerate in at 1.6 km/h (1 MPH) increments for each time that the resume/increase switch is momentarily pressed.

Gap Switch

The gap switch allows the driver to determine how closely the adaptive cruise control vehicle follows a target vehicle while adaptive cruise control is engaged. When the adaptive cruise control vehicle speed is being limited due to a slower travelling vehicle, the adaptive cruise control vehicle speed is automatically controlled to the follow speed limit. The gap switch has 3 following distance selections that range from 1 - 2 s. The gap switch following distance between the adaptive cruise control vehicle and the target vehicle is expressed in time as opposed to actual distance. The distance maintained for a selected gap will vary based on vehicle speed. The faster the vehicle speed, the further back you will follow. The gap setting can only be adjusted when the adaptive cruise control system is engaged. The gap switch is hard-wired to the BCM. Based on voltage variations, the BCM is able to read the gap switch selection and communicates the switch status on the GMLAN serial data circuit to the active safety control module. The gap switch is a momentary switch.

The initial push of the gap switch recalls the current setting and activates the display. Subsequent pushes of the gap switch will change the gap setting.

Driver Information Messages

Adaptive Cruise Control Temporarily Unavailable

The active safety control module will send this message if the adaptive cruise control has been disengage or disabled. There are many reasons that can cause this, some will also set DTCs. Check vehicle for DTCs and also check the adaptive cruise control enable and disengage scan tool data.

Definitions of parameters can be found in active safety control module scan tool information.

Service Driver Assist System

This message can be set by either the active safety control module if there is a problem with the driver assist system or by the memory seat module if there is a problem with the haptic seat circuits. Check vehicle for DTCs.

Service Adaptive Cruise Control and Service Front Camera

The message is set if the active safety control module is not communicating to the instrument cluster.

Check vehicle for DTCs.

Set Speed

The adaptive cruise control vehicle set speed is displayed at all times in the driver information center when adaptive cruise control is engaged. The active safety control module set speed display request is sent to the instrument cluster via the GMLAN serial data circuit.

Follow Distance

The driver information center displays the driver selected following distance when adaptive cruise control is engaged and the gap switch is active. The current follow distance setting is displayed in the driver information center for a few seconds after the gap switch is pressed to increase or decrease the following distance. The active safety control module follow distance display request is sent to the instrument cluster via the GMLAN serial data circuit.

Vehicle Ahead Indicator

The vehicle ahead indicator is displayed in the instrument cluster hen the radar identifies an in-path vehicle. The vehicle ahead indicator is a warning to the driver that a vehicle is ahead. The indicator also serves as a feedback to the driver that the radar is functioning properly. The active safety control module commands the display of the vehicle ahead indicator via a GMLAN serial data message to the instrument cluster. The vehicle ahead indicator only displays with the adaptive cruise control active and may sometimes display for stationary road objects.

Digital Map Database

The Map Database Update Function shall take the received update data via 4G LTE Wireless connection and uplink connectivity, verify the data received, then substitute or incrementally update the Map Database in the next COMM_ENABLE cycle and inform the horizon provider of the successful update in order to trigger a restart.

The map database update function will diagnose it's capability to update and report its status to the Diagnostic Function.

The Digital Map Module shall be able initiate a map database update by establishing a connection to the backend server and request information about the latest available map update The Digital Map Module shall diagnose the Map Database with software logical detection within itself and look for:

  • Defects
  • Age
  • Correct Version

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