2015 Kia K900: Fog and Adaptive Cruise Control
February 3, 2015
There's something so wonderful about waking up before the sun comes up and pointing a car north to head to a racetrack. One of the better tracks near Southern California is Buttonwillow Raceway. But every now and then, the weather tends to complicate things.
Buttonwillow is a 2-hour drive from my house and it just barely touches California's central valley. While L.A. was experiencing unseasonably warm and beautiful weather, the central valley was socked in by heavy fog. It's not the first time I hit this featureless gray wall, either. It's something I've come to expect.
This time was as bad as I've seen, though. The speed limit through this stretch of Interstate 5 is 70 mph, but in some spots I dropped down to 40 mph along with the pack of cars around me. The photo above was shot in one of the clearer spots. When I exited the freeway, I could barely find the offramp.
I had already been using the K900's adaptive cruise control to keep me from going too fast on the long highway stretches. When I hit the fog, it helped relieve a little bit of the tension as the radar cut through the soup and slowed me down before I even spotted a vehicle. The vehicle, a white big rig with its lights off (seriously), wasn't visible until I moved over into the left lane and slowly crept up on it.
In fog-prone areas, adaptive cruise control certainly showed its merit. In fact, I think adding a fog mode with increased radar range might be a good idea. It'd be a bit like flying a plane using, but not relying solely on, instruments. Surely some engineers would be able to implement this.
Okay, that's enough Airplane! references for now.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 9,500 miles