Subaru reveals EyeSight driver assist technology

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Manny De Los Reyes
Manny De Los Reyes
Manny de los Reyes, motoring editor of wheels.ph as well as its print edition, has been writing about cars since 1995. His life has been deeply intertwined with cars, having cleaned and maintained the family cars as a teenager, operating a paint shop and entering national car shows in college, before joining Nissan after graduation. He handled car brands as a copywriter afterwards. Today, when he's not testing or writing about cars or attending motoring events, he is home reading novels or playing with his shih tzu.

At the 2018 Singapore Motor Show

Singapore – While most other carmakers wowed the crowds at the recently concluded Singapore Motor Show with gleaming new sheet metal, Subaru went the opposite way and showed off the heretofore invisible technologies that set their cars above the norm.  

And it’s ironic that the newest of these “invisible” technologies is called EyeSight.

Subaru has been known for empowering drivers with confidence, comfort and safety as a result of Subaru’s core exclusive technologies such as the superbly balanced Boxer Engine, high-traction Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and the safe and comfortable-riding Subaru Global Platform. The camera-based EyeSight complements Subaru’s core technologies, bringing safety to a much more advanced, new level. 

“We are thrilled to finally launch the award-winning Subaru EyeSight technology at the Singapore Motorshow 2018. EyeSight completes Subaru’s core technology pillars to present a wholesome and attractive package for customers who are looking for the highest standards of safety, driving performance and comfort in a car,” said Glenn Tan, Managing Director, Tan Chong International Limited. (Regional Subaru distributor, Motor Image, is under the Tan Chong Group.)

EyeSight is a driving support system that uses a range of functions to assist the driver, providing a safer and comfortable driving experience. Adding confidence to every trip, EyeSight uses stereo cameras to identify the surrounding vehicles, obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. Under the right circumstances, it will apply the brakes or reduce the throttle to minimize the risk of a collision. 

When equipped with EyeSight, all 2017 Subaru models received the highest possible 2017 rating for front crash prevention by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States. This advanced system provides extra awareness, safety, and added confidence every time drivers step behind the wheel.

The six main functions of EyeSight are: 

 Pre-Collision Braking

Pre-Collision Braking System warns the driver with a buzzer and a light on the dash. If the driver still does not take evasive action to avoid the collision, the system can automatically apply the brakes to reduce any impact or, if possible, prevent the collision. If the driver takes evasive action to avoid a collision, it helps prevent it from happening. Subaru adds a caveat that Pre-Collision Braking System may not work in all situations (depending on the speed difference from objects, the object’s height and other conditions, every situation may not meet the necessary conditions for EyeSight to work optimally).

Adaptive Cruise Control

Aside from maintaining the speed as the traditional cruise control set by the driver. Adaptive Cruise Control adjusts the speed to keep a set distance from the lead vehicle by monitoring the distance and the difference of the speed. It adjusts the engine, transmission, and brake to keep your speed in line with the traffic flow. This means that EyeSight will tell the vehicle computer to speed up or slow down as the car in front accelerates or brakes. 

 Pre-Collision Throttle Management

When EyeSight sees an obstacle in front of you and you put the vehicle in Drive instead of Reverse, Pre-Collision Throttle Management sounds several short beeps, turns on a flashing indicator and cuts the engine output to help you avoid a frontal collision. You will notice a lack of power when you step on the accelerator in Drive when there is a car or other object in front. The car will simply not move forward. Amazingly, the system is intelligent enough to override itself when you keep your foot on the accelerator for more than a few seconds. This is crucial when you have to urgently move forward (i.e. when you’re caught on a railroad track and a train is approaching and you need to accelerate). 

 Lane Departure Warning

When travelling at speeds of 50 km/h or more and you drift to the edge of your lane and begin to depart your lane without signaling, it warns you before you leave your lane.

 Lane Sway Warning

Lane Sway Warning helps you stay alert with a buzzer and a flashing indicator. It only activates at speeds of approximately 60 km/h or more.

Lead Vehicle Start Alert

When you’re at a stop and EyeSight senses that traffic has started moving again, Lead Vehicle Start Alert prompts the driver to take action with a buzzer and a flashing indicator. I suppose this is ideal for those markets where mobile phone use is allowed, which often catches some drivers looking at their phone screens and failing to notice a green light.

 The new Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology will further enhance drivers’ driving experience and will be available on the Subaru Impreza, Levorg, Outback and XV as well as on the next-generation Forester.

We got to talk to Subaru tech people, who explained to us that EyeSight, being based on digital cameras mounted just inside the upper edge of the windshield, still has the same limitations as most devices with digital cameras. Which means that they don’t recommend installing tint on the windshield, which will impair the cameras’ effectivity. Dark, foggy and/or rainy conditions likewise affect EyeSight’s effectiveness.

Bottom line? Never over-trust any electronic system, especially one that’s designed to assist the driver, and not to do the main job of driving for him or her.

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