In order to modulate the cruising speed of a car, especially when driving long distances on the motorway, a cruise control system is an invaluable aid. One part of the cruise control system, which plays an essential part in its operation, is the cruise control actuator.

All cruise control systems are managed by a cruise control module. This module has several functions, one of which is to communicate with the cruise control actuator. It does this by sending pulse signals, which indicate the present speed of the vehicle. When the actuator receives these signals it will move the linkage of the throttle until the vehicle arrives at the selected cruising speed and then maintain that speed. The cruise control actuator most frequently works by vacuum operation, although, especially in smaller cars, the control is through a small motor. It is through asserting control over the amount of the vacuum that the cruise control actuator maintains (or actuates)the speed of the car according to the directions it receives through the pulses that are sent by the cruise control module

Forming part of a system that ensures that chosen (or mandatory) speed limits are adhered to when cruising, the cruise control actuator is a sophisticated and useful component.