Everything to Know About The BMW Dynamic Cruise Control

Cruise controls were once reserved for only selected models of BMW. Less fortunate drivers had to keep their tired eyes and limbs fixed on the road and the pedals for long hours. These fatigued drivers were the cause of many accidents. So, automakers, like BMW and Toyota, started adding the feature to more of their cars.

The BMW dynamic cruise control is an improvement over the traditional system. Traditional cruise control can only do so much as keep your vehicle going at a preset speed. Meanwhile, the dynamic version can detect other vehicles in front of you and road curves and react accordingly.

Most drivers are familiar with the traditional version of cruise control. The dynamic one might seem somewhat confusing to them. The following discussion will hopefully clear things up. 

What is BMW Dynamic Cruise Control? 

In conventional cruise control, you set the vehicle to a certain speed. Your car will then automatically accelerate up to that speed and maintain it. The benefit is that the foot you keep on the gas pedal can get some rest. Also, as the car maintains the preset speed, it can save you from speeding tickets. 

Difference With Conventional Cruise Control

However, conventional cruise control doesn’t have the necessary technology to adjust your car according to upcoming obstacles. So, you must still watch out for another vehicle appearing or the road curving abruptly.

This is where Dynamic cruise control offers an improvement. Besides setting a speed, you can also set the following distance on your BMW cruise control.

When you are speeding across an open highway, the car will normally continue at its set speed. But your BMW will automatically slow down as soon as another vehicle or obstacle appears. When the obstacle moves away, your car will accelerate on its own and reach the preset speed again. 

How It Works? 

Three components work in concert to make dynamic cruise control possible. Firstly, there is the radar system. Your dynamic cruise control will shoot radar waves from the car. These waves reflect off the object in front of the vehicle and return to the car. 

Secondly, there is the sensor system. This system can receive the radar signals that come back from the objects and make necessary adjustments. There are two kinds of sensors in dynamic cruise control- Speed sensors and Distance Sensors. 

The Distance sensors keep track of the gap between your car and an upcoming obstacle based on the signals it receives. Meanwhile, speed sensors decelerate your vehicle when the gap is shorter than the following distance. Similarly, it will adjust to a faster speed when the path clears up.

The third component is the longitudinal controller. It is kind of like a computer that collects information from the radar and sensor systems. In light of that information, it sends appropriate command signals to the engine to slow down or accelerate the car.

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How do I know if my BMW has dynamic cruise control?  

Almost all the newer BMW models have dynamic cruise controls. Examining the steering wheel is the simplest way to tell if your car has cruise control. 

Cars with dynamic cruise control will have 5-6 buttons on the left panel of the steering wheel. Depending on the specific BMW model the number and orientation of this switch might vary. 

Here’s a table with all the BMW models that have dynamic cruise control-

BMW Models With Dynamic Cruise control (no lane centering)BMW models with Dynamic Cruise Control and Lane Centering (Hands-on only)BMW models with Dynamic Cruise Control and Lane Centering (Hands-free at low speed)
2021 BMW X12021 BMW X32021 BMW X7
2021 BMW X22021 BMW X42021 BMW 7 Series
2021 BMW i3 2021 BMW X6
2021 BMW 4 Series 2021 BMW 5 Series
2021 BMW Z4 2021 BMW X5
2021 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe 2021 BMW 3 Series 
2021 BMW 2 Series coupe and convertible 2021 BMW 8 Series

How To Use The BMW Dynamic Cruise Control? 

Renowned automakers like BMW are always trying to improve their vehicles in the next model. Therefore, slight differences in the cruise control panel on your steering wheel might exist.

However, almost all the systems have some things in common. For instance, you will always find the dynamic cruise control panel on the left side of the steering wheel. There are also various other similarities, based on which you can follow the steps below to operate the cruise control- 

Step 1: Turning On the Control 

You can turn on your cruise control by pressing the assisted drive button. You can identify it from the car-and-gauge drawing on it. You will notice a green sign (cruise control gauge) on the digital cluster when the system turns on. 

Step 2: Set Your Speed  

Next, you will set your speed and the following distance. The ‘Set’ button allows you to determine your constant speed. Dynamic cruise controls also have a speed limit assistant. You can use it to ensure the car is within your desired speed at all zones.

Step 3: Distance Setting

The digital cluster will show several lines indicating distance. Each line refers to one car length. You can use the distance buttons to reduce or increase the number of this line. The distance buttons are marked with plus and minus signs and function accordingly.

Suppose you set the following distance to two lines. In that case, your car will decelerate when you are two car lengths away from an obstacle. Whenever an obstacle appears ahead, the instrument cluster will show a sign which looks like a car.

Step 4: Speed Increments

Nesting between the distance control button is the rocker switch. It is smaller and also has plus and minus markings. It almost feels like a volume up and down button on audio devices. You can use this switch to increase the set speed. BMW allows speed increments of one and five mph.

Step 5: Cancel and Resume 

You can press the cancel button to turn off the dynamic cruise control in your car. The same happens when you hit the brakes. Press the resume button to return to the assisted driving mode at your preferred set speed and following distance.

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After the above discussion, Dynamic Cruise Control might not seem confusing. But we are happy to answer any more questions you might have. 

How do I change from regular cruise control to dynamic cruise control? 

If your car has both controls, you can press the Cancel button for several seconds. This will switch between modes. Also, the main difference between regular and dynamic is in distance control. So, as soon as you activate the distance button, you enter the dynamic mode.

How much does dynamic cruise control cost? 

The dynamic cruise controls with top-notch technology and capabilities will cost around 2000-2500 dollars. However, you can get more basic and less capable systems at around 500 dollars (equipment plus labor costs). 

Does adaptive cruise control apply brakes? 

The distance and speed control features allow the adaptive cruise control to apply some amount of braking. It usually does this when encountering a traffic jam or a non-moving obstacle. 

Can you add adaptive cruise control after purchase? 

You can buy adaptive cruise control kits and add them to your car. However, your BMW must fulfill the design and technological requirements for the addition of this kit. Kits range from 250$ to 4000$ in price, and you will need automotive experts for the installation job.

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The BMW dynamic cruise control makes the road safer for everyone. It also reduces fatigue and stress on long road trips. So, if your car doesn’t have one, it’s worth spending thousands of dollars on installation. However, the recommended action is to buy a car with dynamic cruise control, to begin with. 

Turn off cruise control on busy local streets. These roads are unpredictable; another vehicle or person can come before your car at any time. Driving at a preset speed in this scenario is dangerous. 

Plus, knowing that you are in assisted driving mode will make you relax and reduce your mental alertness. So, reserve cruise control only for the highways.

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