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A cruise control unit is a component that is vital to the operation of a motor vehicle’s cruise control system. Cruise control, which is sometimes also described as speed control, is a system where the velocity of the vehicle is controlled automatically. The cruise control unit does this by assuming control of the throttle (or accelerator) thus preventing the car from being driven at a speed that is greater than that which has been pre-set by the driver.

The cruise control unit transfers the driver’s commands to other components in the cruise control system. This is usually achieved through the cruise control wiring. One of the components with which the cruise control unit communicates is the cruise control actuator, which opens and closes the vehicle’s throttle to achieve and maintain the chosen speed.

Through careful use of a vehicle’s cruise control unit a lengthy motorway drive can be made much less stressful and more comfortable. It can also reduce fuel use and emissions. Most importantly to some drivers, it can also eradicate the risk of a speeding ticket. However, if it is used incorrectly, such as failing to override it when the vehicle is rounding a bend, it can be hazardous.

As with most elements of operating the sophisticated parts of a modern motor vehicle, as long as the cruise control unit is sensibly handled, it can be an invaluable aid to the driver.