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What Is Toyota Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)?

Toyota Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro 4x4 in White

Here is one feature I guarantee: once you start using it, you will be spoiled when driving long distances and even daily use. Toyota’s Dynamic Radar Cruise Control has made it easy to navigate longer trips because its set-it-and-forget-it cruising feature is intuitive and convenient.

DRCC is a radar adaptive cruise control that works based on the preceding vehicle in front of you to maintain a preset distance and cruising speed above 20 mph.

Table of Contents

How Does Toyota's Dynamic Radar Cruise Control Work?

DRCC is an adaptive cruise control system that uses a millimeter wave radar to detect vehicles ahead of the driver. The system allows the driver to enter one of four preset distances to keep the vehicle cruising at a speed set by the driver above 20 miles per hour.

The vehicle-to-vehicle distance control system allows a driver to use one of three preset distances from the vehicle ahead of the driver if the vehicle is traveling 20 mph or more.

Only in some Toyota vehicles can you toggle between the Standard Cruise Control mode versus the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which is the Adaptive mode.

Note: It is always the driver’s responsibility; only depend on the system partially.

How to use the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

You will have one of two DRCC system interfaces on most Toyota vehicles. First, you have the Cruise Control on the right-hand side of the steering wheel on a stem, with the on and off switch on the end of the stem. Second, you will have an on and off button on the right-hand side of the steering wheel to engage the system.

Toyota Dynamic Radar Cruise Control on Stem
DRCC Stem Cruise Control in Toyota Tundra

DRCC Stem Cruise Control

  1. To activate the stem cruise control, ensure the button on the end of the stem has been depressed and the cruise control light appears on the dashboard or within the multi-information display.
  2. Once you reach your cruising speed, press DOWN on the stem towards the vehicle’s floor. By default, the vehicle will be set at the furthest vehicle distance setting, three or four, based on your vehicle. 
  3. Use the distance button to adjust to the “following distance” preset if you would like to ride closer to the preceding vehicle in front of you.
  4. Hold the cruise stem UP towards the vehicle’s ceiling to increase your set speed, or hold the stem DOWN to decrease your speed. 
  5. Pull the stem towards you to cancel the cruise control and enter coast mode, or press the brake pedal.
  6. To Re-engage, pull the stem UP to RESUME the cruise control and return to the speed previously set.
Toyota Dynamic Radar Cruise Control DRCC
Toyota Steering Wheel DRCC Selector Controls

To activate the DRCC mounted on the steering wheel:

  1. Locate and push the button with a speedometer icon and the word “mode” below it.
  2. Toggle this button to switch from standard Cruise Control mode to Adaptive Cruise Control. The Multi-Informational Display (MID) will display the mode you have entered.
  3. Ensure the cruise control light stays illuminated, verifying this system is still active.
  4. Reach your desired speed and use the SET button; in some vehicles, the set button appears with a car between two lane markers and the speedometer icon below. 
  5. To toggle between the preset distances, use the button with a car and three bars below it. Each button press will decrease the preset distance to follow the preceding vehicle in front of you more closely until cycling back to the furthest distance setting.
  6. The +RES/- button will increase your speed when pressing the +RES and decrease when pressing the – button.
  7. Just one press will increase or decrease by a mile per hour.
  8. Holding either button will increase or reduce the rate of speed more dramatically.
  9. You will enter a coast mode with the cancel button or hit the brake pedal.

Additional DRCC Setting

On some vehicles, you can make fine-tune adjustments to the DRCC. To do so, use the Direction pad on the left side of the steering wheel. 

  1. Use the Direction pad to navigate to the SETTINGS menu.
  2. Navigate to the DRCC settings.
  3. Adjust the DRCC settings to your liking, available options are:
    1. Acceleration Setting, choose your preset level of acceleration.
    2. Guide message on or off
    3. Curve Speed Reduction, OFF, Low, Mid, or High.
  4. Press the Back button to return to the previous menu.
Toyota Dynamic Radar Cruise Control DRCC
Toyota Directional Pad for System Menu Navigation

Full-Speed Range DRCC vs. Standard DRCC

The Full-Speed Range DRCC works with the Toyota Pre-Collision System to make driving highly convenient. This system is designed to work in a broader speed range than the standard DRCC. 

The system uses low-speed following under certain circumstances and intuitive braking to help avoid colliding with preceding vehicles. The automatic braking features help slow down the vehicle as you head into traffic and alert you via the collision warning system controlled by the Toyota Pre-Collision System.

Full-Speed Range is an enhanced version of DRCC that has improved vehicle detection, providing more natural, smoother speed adjustments. Plus, a fourth preset distance setting vs. the three is now standard in this updated system.

Toyota DRCC Adaptive Cruise Control
Toyota Dynamic Radar Cruise Control Settings Menu Page

Benefits of Toyota Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

Reduced Driver Fatigue: By maintaining a set speed and distance from the car in front, DRCC allows drivers to relax a bit more on long journeys, reducing fatigue.

Enhanced Safety: DRCC adjusts your speed to maintain a safe following distance, reducing the likelihood of rear-end collisions.

Adaptive Speed Control: Unlike standard cruise control, DRCC can automatically adjust the vehicle’s speed based on the traffic conditions.

Convenience: DRCC adds a layer of convenience for highway driving or when you’re in stop-and-go traffic, making the driving experience more comfortable.

Improved Fuel Efficiency: When you maintain a consistent speed using smooth acceleration and deceleration patterns, DRCC can improve your fuel efficiency.

Reduced Cognitive Load: The system takes over adjusting speed and maintaining distance, allowing drivers to focus on other aspects of driving, such as steering and observing road conditions.

Ease of Use: Generally, DRCC is user-friendly and easy to engage/disengage, making it accessible even for those unfamiliar with advanced car technologies.

Enhanced Confidence: Knowing that the vehicle has an additional layer of safety can provide drivers with greater peace of mind, especially in challenging driving conditions.

Future-proof: As vehicle technologies advance, features like DRCC are likely to receive Over-The-Air updates or work in conjunction with other evolving technologies, making the car more adaptable for the future.

Integration with Other Safety Systems: As part of the Toyota Safety Sense program, DRCC complements other safety features for a holistic approach to road safety. One of these features is Lane Tracing Assist, which helps keep a vehicle centered in its lane, even while you drive on bending roads.

Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
Toyota Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control & Toyota's Safety Sense

Toyota Safety Sense is an advanced suite of safety features designed to keep drivers and passengers safer on the road. These innovative technologies help avoid accidents altogether. The following safety technologies are included within the suite:

  • Automatic High Beams (AHB)
  • Road Sign Assist (RSA)
  • Lane Departure Alert (LDA)
  • Pre-Collision System (PCS)
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
  • Proactive Driving Assist (PDA)

Recap of Toyota DRCC

DRCC can be very beneficial in everyday use; even with heavy traffic, it can assist drivers and take some of the stress of driving off you. It’s simple to set up and fully customizable if you change your mind or need to cruise at much lower speeds, like going through a small town.

I use this feature to stay under the speed limit as an extra precaution to avoid getting a ticket.

As always, while DRCC offers numerous benefits, it’s not a substitute for attentive driving. It’s crucial to remain fully focused on the road and be prepared to take control of the vehicle at any time.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is dynamic radar cruise control?

DRCC is a feature that automatically adjusts your vehicle’s speed to maintain a preset following distance from the car ahead. It enhances safety, reduces driver fatigue, and offers added convenience, especially during long drives or in stop-and-go traffic.

Which Toyota models have dynamic radar cruise control?

Most 2023 Toyota models come standard with Toyota Safety Sense, which has Dynamic Radar Cruise Control or the upgraded version of the Full-Speed Range DRCC. However, the only vehicle not included is the GR Supra. Visit https://www.toyota.com/safety-sense/, and you can enter your vehicle’s year and model for more details if DRCC is on your particular vehicle.

What is full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control vs. DRCC?

DRCC automatically adjusts your vehicle’s speed to maintain a set distance from the car in front. Full-Speed Range DRCC offers the same features but can bring your vehicle to a complete stop and resume speed again, making it more suitable for stop-and-go traffic conditions.

How do you turn on dynamic radar cruise control?

To turn on Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, you typically press the cruise control button on the steering wheel, then set your desired speed and the following distance using the steering wheel controls. Also, above are more detailed instructions on how to use the DRCC. *Always refer to your vehicle’s manual for specific instructions.

What does dynamic radar cruise control unavailable mean?

“DRCC Unavailable” usually indicates that the system cannot function properly at the moment. This could be due to sensor issues, poor weather conditions, or other factors. On Toyota vehicles, the radar sensor is behind the Toyota emblem; a glassy-looking plastic cover in front is usually it. Try cleaning this area free of bugs and debris. It can also be a rectangular plastic window built within the grille of Toyota trucks. *Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual or see your local dealer.

Note: Always refer to the vehicle’s Owner’s Manual for more detailed information about your specific vehicle. Safe driving practices should always be followed. For more details, contact your local Toyota Dealer or visit Toyota.com.

Cedric Jackson

Cedric Jackson

Cedric is a Sales Pro with 20+ years of experience. He is currently a Sales Consultant at Toyota of Riverside. He aims to share his passion for product knowledge of the Toyota brand here on his blog. Cedric writes content here and produces short-form videos on YouTube, Instagram & TicTok. Connect with him here or on all social media @ cedricthecarguy 🙏🏾🤙🏾

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Cedric Jackson

Cedric Jackson

Cedric is a Sales Pro with 20+ years of experience. He is currently a Sales Consultant at Toyota of Riverside. He aims to share his passion for product knowledge of the Toyota brand here on his blog. Cedric writes content here and produces short-form videos on YouTube, Instagram & TicTok. Connect with him here or on all social media @ cedricthecarguy 🙏🏾🤙🏾

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