NMA Email Newsletter: Issue #25

Adaptive Cruise Control & Radar

This question came in from a member and may be useful to others:

I have a car equipped with adaptive cruise control. This emits radar to slow my car when I approach an object or another vehicle. Does this radar affect police radar?

Generally speaking, there is little likelihood of your adaptive cruise control interfering with police radar.

Those adaptive cruise controls that actually use radar operate on a slightly different frequency so as to minimize this possibility, as well as to avoid the more likely possibility of interference from other microwave sources, such as door openers and alarms. This is not to say it couldn’t happen, just that the odds are quite low.

Obviously, the manufacturers want to avoid the ‘reverse’ risk, that police radar might interfere with the cruise control… imagine your car slamming on the brakes when it encounters a radar trap. Come to think of it, that would be a feature, wouldn’t it?

Some of the adaptive cruise control units use a laser instead of radar; these do have a higher possibility of interfering with police laser.

In either case, I have never heard of a case where interference was observed or reported, although I do keep hoping.

Thanks to Thomas Frank, the NMA’s Rhode Island Activist, for the answer!

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