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Can You Add Adaptive Cruise Control Aftermarket? Answered


You already know about traditional cruise control. But modern cars are equipped with an advanced version known as Adaptive Cruise Control or ACC. It’s more efficient and smarter and uses a radar beam to detect the vehicle in front of you.

However, if your car doesn’t have ACC, it’s high time to know, can you add Adaptive Cruise Control aftermarket.

Technically, it’s possible to install ACC aftermarket. If your car’s model has an option to install ACC, it will be simpler because your car was designed for that system. However, you might have to add additional accessories to make this feature work properly if your car’s model doesn’t support ACC.

So this post will give you all the details regarding ACC aftermarket, including the cost, installation, and safety tips.

Cost of ACC Aftermarket

Since ACC is an advanced version of the traditional cruise control, it uses a high-tech configuration which is a bit expensive.

Typically, the ACC system costs $2,000 – $2,500. We are talking about the top-performing ACC, which provides a speed from 60 mph to completely stopping your car.


However, you can also find affordable packages for around $500. They will give you a speed not more than 25 mph. Besides, beware of these cheap ACC aftermarkets as they might not function properly. Even if they might look new from the outside, they are configured poorly and might cost you more in case of any mishap.

When you search the market, you will see different names of ACC like:

  • Intelligent Cruise Control
  • Dynamic Cruise Control
  • Autonomous Cruise Control
  • Active Cruise Control
  • Radar Cruise Control

All these names represent ACC, so you don’t need to confuse yourself regarding the nomenclature.

However, some ACC systems might differ in how they work.

For example, some aforementioned cruise controls use a radar-based detection system. At the same time, some systems use LiDAR or camera-based cruise control. But they share a common purpose, which is to maintain the speed of your car and avoid colliding with the car moving in front of you.

Besides, the high-tech ACC is an important feature of self-driving cars, which you will see on the road in the near future.

Difference in Installation

The overall cost of ACC aftermarket depends on the system, labor, and the model of your car.

The labor of installing ACC in your car ranges from $45 – $210 per hour. However, the labor might vary because installing ACC in your car is not an easy job, especially when your car’s model isn’t designed for that system.

Another factor that affects the cost structure of ACC aftermarket is whether your car supports advanced cruise control or not. So it can save you good bucks when your car’s model already has a slot available for ACC.

Besides, some models of the car require a special cruise control kit that fits only them.

Check out the Dorman Cruise Control Kit.

Different Types of Adaptive Cruise Controls

No doubt, the technological advancement in the automobile industry made it possible to create different types of ACC. Each ACC uses different technology to sense the traffic in a particular vicinity.

In addition to that, that difference affects the overall price of the whole system.

Now, let’s learn about the different types of technologies used by ACC.

Radar-Based ACC

This type of ACC uses a radar sensor to read the speed of the car moving in front of you. This is the most common type of ACC which you will find in almost all modern cars. A radar sensor is installed at the front of the vehicle behind the duct. It continuously sends a radar beam which keeps your car or truck a few seconds away from the car in front of you.

However, there are several limitations of the radar-based ACC.


  • It doesn’t detect anything when you are driving on a hilly road.
  • When there’s a curve on the road, the radar beams can’t detect any car right before the collision.
  • The radar detects a car late at a close distance.
  • This ACC doesn’t detect small vehicles like motorbikes well.

Stereoscopic Camera ACC

In this ACC, a rotating LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) camera is set on the roof-top. It detects almost all the objects around the car at a range of 200 meters to observe potential hazards.

In addition to that, there are two odometry sensors on each side of the vehicle near the wheels that senses the motion of the vehicle.

Moreover, all the settings are configured via an ECO (Electronic Control Unit) that’s installed near the dashboard.

As you have seen, this type of ACC uses more advanced technology, which makes it a high-end option.

Have a look at the Vuze 3D 360° 4K VR Stereoscopic Camera.


  • This ACC will not work properly in bad weather conditions like heavy snow or rainfall.
  • It doesn’t work well on slippery roads because as soon as an object comes in front of the car, ACC would suddenly want to reduce the speed, which can skid the car.
  • If the camera or the sensor is slightly damaged, ACC will give poor results. Therefore, contact the service center immediately and fix the ACC aftermarket.

If you want to add ACC to your car, which doesn’t support the system, you might have to add additional slots for the sensors. That will surely increase the cost.

For example, if there’s no space at the front of the vehicle behind the grille or duct, you have to make some space for the radar sensor.

You can’t change the position of the radar sensor because that will affect its performance. Therefore, always plan which type of ACC you would like to install in your car.

If the model of your car supports that particular ACC, there’s no problem then. Else, you have to bear additional costs just for the modification.

Safety Tips

  • Make sure you activate the cruise control feature on highways.
  • If you see there’s heavy traffic ahead, it’s better not to leave your car on ACC.
  • If the road is wet, deactivate ACC and manually drive your car.
  • Keep a safe distance from the car to avoid collision in case ACC fails to work.
  • Be ready to press the brake pedal because you never know when a car can come right in front of you.
  • Be aware of what’s happening around you when you leave your car on ACC.
driver presses the cruise control button on the car steering wheel

Final Thoughts

No doubt, almost every modern car is equipped with cruise control. If you want to install Adaptive Cruise Control in your car separately, you might need to hire a professional. The installation depends on whether your car supports the ACC system.

After the installation, you can enjoy driving on highways by leaving your car on ACC.

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