What is Subaru EyeSight?

Christian Wardlaw | Aug 24, 2020

Subaru EyeSight is the name the automaker uses to describe its collection of advanced driving assistance and collision avoidance systems. 

2021 Subaru Outback EyeSight Front View

The contents of the package can vary depending on the model, but each application of EyeSight includes adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, and pre-collision throttle management to reduce engine power when EyeSight detects an obstacle ahead. 

For the 2021 model year, Subaru is updating EyeSight with a new advanced version of adaptive cruise control and a lane-centering assistance system.

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Subaru EyeSight uses dual color cameras mounted behind the windshield and facing forward on either side of the rearview mirror. These cameras monitor traffic conditions ahead and identify lane markings, in turn adjusting or activating EyeSight functions as is necessary.

For example, EyeSight can see what a driver might not. Let’s say you’re sitting at a traffic light waiting to turn right. The vehicle ahead accelerates and starts to turn. You, in the following vehicle, turn your head left to look for approaching traffic as you pull forward. At the same time, the vehicle ahead suddenly and unexpectedly stops without you realizing it. 

In this situation, EyeSight’s pre-collision throttle management system will reduce power while the forward collision warning system alerts you to the stopped vehicle in your path. If you don’t take action quickly enough, the automatic emergency braking system will engage to try to prevent a collision with the vehicle ahead.

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Subaru includes EyeSight as standard equipment on many of its models. However, you be wondering to yourself: Is Subaru EyeSight worth it? Based on studies of the system’s effectiveness, the answer is yes.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), EyeSight has demonstrated an 85% reduction in rear-end collisions that result in injuries. This estimate is based on an examination of 2013-2015 model year Subarus through calendar year 2014. Separately, the IIHS has found that EyeSight can reduce pedestrian injuries by as much as 35%.

While these IIHS studies suggest that EyeSight does work and is effective at reducing collisions and injuries, the technology is not a substitute for an attentive driver who is ready to respond to potential collisions. And to ensure that drivers are paying attention to the road ahead, some Subarus now come with a DriverFocus system, which uses facial recognition technology to identify a drowsy or distracted driver.

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Subaru equips each of its models, except for the BRZ sports car and WRX STI performance sedan, with standard or available EyeSight. In order to get EyeSight, your Subaru must have the company’s automatic transmission (a continuously variable transmission) instead of a manual gearbox.

Additional safety features offered for Subaru models include blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic warning, rear automatic braking, steering-responsive LED headlights, automatic high-beam headlight operation, and both a rear camera mirror and front camera display showing 180-degree views of what’s in the front or back of the vehicle. 

Starlink Safety and Security connected services is also available, offering advanced automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, and the ability to program speed, curfew, and geographic boundary alerts.

The information in this article is from Subaru and was accurate on August 24, 2020. It may have changed since that date.

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