Next generation of Subaru Eyesight driver assistance tech debuts

Sections: Car Safety

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Subaru Eyesight Stereo Color Cameras Press Photo

The Subaru Eyesight system’s stereo color cameras detect brake lights, pedestrians, and obstacles and can signal the car’s throttle and braking systems to slow down or, in some cases, stop completely, according to Subaru. (Photo courtesy Subaru)

Subaru announced the debut of its next-generation Eyesight color camera-based driver assistance system along with the safety tech trio of lane change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind spot detection.

The press release from Subaru said the Eyesight system’s color stereo cameras reside inside the car at the top of the windshield and deliver a 40% longer and wider detection range. If the cameras detects brake lights or even a pedestrian ahead, they can signal the car’s throttle and braking systems to slow down or in some cases stop the car completely, the release said.

“Combining safety and convenience features, the Subaru EyeSight system is one of the most affordable crash avoidance technologies available in the U.S. market,” the press release said. “On sale for almost two years in the U.S. the system has been widely praised by safety experts and customers. Research shows that nine out of ten Subaru customers who purchased the EyeSight system would recommend it and more than half say that the system has helped avoid an accident.”

Subaru said the new Eyesight generation is faster to react than the previous generation when faced with trigger stimuli. The camera housing, meanwhile, has been made 15% smaller than before, according to the automaker. The press release explained in a little more detail how it works:

The EyeSight system processes stereo images to identify the vehicles traveling in front, as well as obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. The video information is relayed to the EyeSight computer, which is also networked with the car’s braking system and electronic throttle control. EyeSight is also capable of detecting pedestrians in the vehicle’s path and can activate in order to mitigate or even avoid the collision. Under certain circumstances, Eyesight is able to bring the car to a complete stop, thus avoiding a collision.

The Eyesight system integrates adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and vehicle lane departure warning. At relative speeds under 30 mph, EyeSight’s Pre-Collision Braking System can detect vehicles in the car’s path and, if the driver has not applied the brake, the system can do so to slow the vehicle or bring it to a full stop to help avoid the potential collision. Pre-Collision Braking is always on in the background to act as a second set of eyes for the driver. It can also be turned off temporarily for off-road or rough road travel.

Lane departure warning monitors traffic lane markers and lines and can detect if the car begins to wander outside the intended lane without a turn signal being used, or begins to sway within the travel lane. Using the turn signal cancels the warning.

Adaptive Cruise Control is intended for freeway use and can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, braking or accelerating the car to maintain the driver-selected target speed and traveling distance. Adaptive Cruise Control operates from 1-90 mph and can fully bring the vehicle to a stop if the system “locks on” to a vehicle ahead. As an added convenience, Adaptive Cruise Control assists the driver in “stop and go” traffic by maintaining distance from the vehicle ahead.

Meanwhile, Subaru also said it would debut blind spot detection, lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert systems on its 2015 models. Like most such systems, they will use rear-facing radar systems. In Subaru’s case, they’ll have a range of about 230 feet, according to the press release.

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