|The EyeSight system. Click to enlarge.|
Subaru of America, Inc. has introduced a new and improved version of its EyeSight driver assistance system. The new system now features color stereo cameras which deliver an approximately 40% longer and wider detection range; brake light detection; and full functionality when the speed differential between the Eyesight-equipped car and another vehicle is up to 30 mph (48 km/h), up from 19 mph (31 km/h) previously.
Also debuting in Subaru models later this year are three additional advanced driver assistance (ADAS) 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. 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.
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.
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% 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 at up to 90 mph (145 km/h) 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.
Blind Spot Detection. This new driver assistance technology senses cars coming up in the vehicle’s blind spot; 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 (70 meters).
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 (70 meters) 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 (7 meters) behind the vehicle.
Subaru cautions that 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.