First seen in its Levorg Concept sport wagon last November in Tokyo, Subaru has now confirmed that a new and more sophisticated version of its EyeSight driver-assist system will be introduced on a number of 2015 models here in the U.S. This even more capable variation of the current and already highly regarded package brings a host of new features aimed at making it even more effective at helping prevent or mitigate potential front impacts. Like the current EyeSight system, this upgraded version initially will be offered on the Forester, Legacy and Outback. However, Subaru plans to expand its availability.
Key enhancements in the Gen II EyeSight system start with new color stereo cameras. While still positioned adjacent to the inside rearview mirror, these upgraded units are about 15 percent smaller and can accurately see approximately 40 percent further down the road while gaining a similar bump in field of view angle. Color capability also means they're able to discern when a driver ahead hits the brakes. This new EyeSight package also can operate with a speed differential of up to 30 mph compared to 19 mph for the present system. Subaru research indicates that half of the owners with EyeSight-equipped vehicles say it has helped prevent at least one potential accident and that over 90 percent would recommend it to others.
As with the current EyeSight system, this new and improved version remains fully integrated with the vehicle's adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, vehicle lane-departure warning systems and is capable of detecting pedestrians as well as other objects in the path of travel. Video signals from the stereo cameras get transferred to the dedicated EyeSight computer, which also is linked with the car's conventional braking system and electronic throttle control. Under certain circumstances, EyeSight can bring the car to a full stop if it senses the driver has not properly deployed the brakes.
In addition to its new EyeSight setup, Subaru also will introduce a trio of safety-related technologies for 2015: Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. Subie's Blind Spot Detection uses radar sensors on the side and rear of the vehicle that illuminate a beacon in the outside mirror warning of a vehicle either approaching or possibly out of the driver's field of view. Lane Change Assist flashes a yellow light in either side-view mirror anytime it senses a fast-approaching vehicle and the driver flicks on a turn signal, while the aptly named Rear Cross Traffic Alert illuminates a warning light in the dash when it senses vehicles approaching from up to 23 feet behind or on either side. Like the Lane Change Assist, its radar sensors also have an effective side-sweep range of 230 feet.
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