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Subaru updates EyeSight system with color-detecting cameras

Sun, 26 Jan 2014

Subaru is giving its EyeSight driver assistance camera system a major upgrade for the 2015 model year with new color cameras, as well as reducing its size by 15 percent over the rather bulky original system.

Subaru locates its EyeSight hardware inside the vehicle at the top of the windshield, which is unlike most other camera-based systems that have their hardware mounted somewhere in the front fascia. The benefit is that these rather expensive components are protected from any detritus that may hit the car, but the original system's size ate up a chunk of the driver's outward view. Thus, the shrinkage should be appreciated by new owners.

The upgraded stereo cameras have a 40-percent longer and wider detection range than the original system's cameras, and their ability to see color allows the system to recognize brake lights at a speed differential of 30 miles per hour, instead of 19 mph before. And as before, EyeSight continues to offer adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and pre-collision breaking that can slow the car automatically if an imminent accident is detected, even bringing the vehicle to a complete stop.

Along with the upgrades to EyeSight, Subaru is adding several new radar-based safety assist systems, as well. Blind Spot Detection uses side- and rear-mounted radar to detect traffic in the car's blind spot, while Lane Change Assist uses the same tech to display a warning in the side view mirrors if a car is coming, and a new Rear Cross Traffic Alert system can detect vehicles up to 23 feet behind the car.

Subaru says it will also be offering EyeSight on more models than before, though aside from mentioning that the new system will be available on cars sometime in 2014, stopped short of mention which ones specifically and when. Scroll down for the official press release.

• Technology to feature on more Subaru models
• New Color Camera Based Driver Assist System
• Also debuting are Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
• Nine out of 10 current Eyesight purchasers would recommend the technology

Cherry Hill, N.J. - Subaru of America, Inc. has announced the debut of a new and improved version of its popular EyeSight™ driver assistance system. The new system now features color stereo cameras that deliver an approximately 40 percent longer and wider detection range, brake light detection and can now fully function when the speed differential between the Eyesight equipped car and another vehicle is up to 30 mph, up from 19 mph. The current generation Eyesight system earned the highest rating given by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), superior, when the IIHS conducted it first test of accident avoidance technology last year.

Combining safety and convenience features, the Subaru EyeSight system is one of the most affordable crash avoidance technologies available in the U.S. market. 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.

Also debuting in Subaru models later this year are three additional technologies; blind spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert. These new systems will be introduced on Subaru's product line-up starting in 2014.

Eyesight Features
The new Eyesight uses two color cameras developed by Subaru and functions more smoothly and has a quicker reaction time. EyeSight is mounted inside the car on the upper edge of the windshield and the housing for the new Eyesight system has been made 15 percent smaller. Locating the system within the vehicle reduces the potential for damage that could occur in bumper-mounted systems. 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.

New Technologies for 2015 Model Year

Blind Spot Detection
This driver assistance technology senses cars coming up in the vehicle's blind spot and if the turn signal is on, it alerts the driver not to change lanes. The driver is warned by a flashing light on the side view mirror and the alert stays active until the car in the adjacent lane is in view. Subaru BSD uses radar sensors on the side and rear of the car.

Lane Change Assist
The lane changes assist system warns the driver of a fast approaching vehicle on either side of the car. It only flashes an alert in the side view mirror when the turn signal is engaged and has a range of 230 ft.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Rear cross traffic alert uses rear facing radar to detect vehicles approaching from behind on either side of the vehicle such as when reversing out of a parking space at the mall. The radar sweeps 230 feet on either side of the vehicle to detect an approaching vehicle and triggers a warning light on the dash. The system can also detect cars up to 23 ft behind the vehicle.

EyeSight, Blind Spot Detection, Land Change Assist and Rear Traffic Alert are not designed as a substitute for due care and attention to the road. The systems may not react in every situation. There are certain operational limitations, such as when weather conditions obscure the view of the cameras. Even with the advanced technology used, a driver with good vision and who is paying attention will always be the best safety system.

About Subaru of America, Inc. Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit

By Chris Bruce

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