Today, Subaru announced that its new EyeSight safety system will debut next month at the New York International Auto Show on the 2013 Subaru Outback, and on its sedan sibling, the 2013 Legacy.
Subaru says EyeSight includes three distinct safety subsystems: Pre-Collision Braking Control and Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Pre-Collision Braking Control and Collision Mitigation works to detect obstacles ahead of the vehicle and can pre-charge the brakes, or apply them for the driver if it detects an obstacle in front of the vehicle and an imminent collision. The system functions at speeds less than 19 mph, and is capable of fully stopping the vehicle. Above 19 mph the system will apply the brakes if an object is detected and the driver takes no evasive action in an effort to minimize any potential damage.
We're pretty familiar with Lane Departure and Sway Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control, two new-to-Subaru technologies. Lane Departure and Sway Warning monitor the road to make sure drivers stay in their lane, while Adaptive Cruise Control locks onto a car ahead of the Subaru at speeds up to 87 mph and maintain a set distance.
Rather than using a bumper or grille-mounted radar that Subaru believes is easily damaged, the automaker goes the Volvo-route and mounts two cameras in the center-upper edge of the windshield. The stereo cameras are capable of identifying vehicles in front, other obstacles, and different lanes of traffic. That video information is than fed to the vehicle's EyeSight computer, where it's fed to the braking system and electronic throttle control.
There's just one detail that makes us a bit nervous. According to Subaru, if EyeSight detects an obstacle in front of the vehicle but the gas pedal continues to be pushed, the system will cut the throttle. Subaru says this could come in handy if a driver accidently shifts into Drive rather than Reverse while backing out of a parking space, but those who find the system overly intrusive while mowing down zombies can simply turn off the system.
Subaru claims the system will be relatively affordable. When asked, the automaker wouldn't confirm a price but did mention it would be less than the comparable complete $2100 City Safety package from Volvo. EyeSight will debut in New York next month on the 2013 Subaru Legacy and 2013 Subaru Outback, two cars that may see other minor updates at the show.