Subaru has revealed details of its next generation EyeSight™ driver assist system, with stereo camera technology refined to help further reduce driver fatigue, contributing to road safety.

EyeSight is already recognised internationally as a leader in its class and the new generation offers even better accuracy in “seeing” objects.

New steering assist control features are added, reducing driver workload even more.

Among the new features are colour recognition, combined with an increase of around 40 per cent in viewing angle and distance.

Object recognition accuracy is improved and brake lights and red traffic signals can be recognised too.

This enhances EyeSight’s existing core functions of low-speed collision avoidance and potentially reducing collision damage.

Also new is “Active Lane Keep*”, which includes two functions:

  • Lane Keeping Assist*- recognises the lines on both sides of the lane and has steering assist controls to keep the driver in the middle of the lane.
  • Lane Departure Prevention Assist* – applies force to the steering wheel to suppress deviation if the vehicle almost strays over the lane lines.

With its new colour recognition feature, updated EyeSight can potentially detect the brake lights of the vehicle ahead and, linked to Adaptive Cruise Control, allow even faster deceleration than with the present system.

Currently, EyeSight uses stereo cameras to measure distances and recognise objects. Just as a driver senses much information visually, it can detect things like other vehicles, pedestrians, bicycles, motorcycles and lane lines, and adjust the vehicle’s performance accordingly. It includes multiple driver assistance features, such as Pre-Collision Braking, to slow or potentially stop the vehicle, with automatic braking.

In Japan, accumulated sales of EyeSight-equipped models have surpassed 150,000, while in Australia, the system is standard in some Outback, Liberty and Forester variants.

The new EyeSight features will be introduced in Japan during 2014 with timing for Australia yet to be announced.

Other enhancements include pre-collision braking control operating at speeds of less than approximately 50 km/h –in the current system it is less than 30 km/h.

Pre-collision Brake Assist now also works at speeds under 70 km/h – currently it is under 50 km/h.

The full list of next generation EyeSight features is:

Active Lane Keep* – If EyeSight recognises the lines on both sides of the vehicle when driving above approximately 65 km/h with Adaptive Cruise Control activated, it will automatically steer the vehicle to keep it in the middle of the lane. This greatly reduces the burden on the driver and supports stable driving. The system determines whether the driver is moving the steering wheel or not.

Lane Departure Prevention Assist* – If the vehicle is straying from the lines when driving over approximately 65 km/h, EyeSight will display and sound the lane departure warning and apply torque to the steering wheel to correct steering back to the centre of the lane, and suppress lane deviation.

Pre-Collision Braking Control – The relative speed at which automatic braking is possible to potentially avoid a collision between the vehicle and an object, or reduce damage, has been increased to approximately 50 km/h. By expanding visible range, the stereo cameras can detect pedestrians crossing a street and pre-collision braking is applied at an earlier stage, enhancing pedestrian protection.

Adaptive Cruise Control – Brake light recognition is a new feature. The stereo cameras have been improved to increase response to acceleration and deceleration by the vehicle ahead, as well as improve performance in terms of tracking merging vehicles ahead and corners. With colour recognition, EyeSight can detect brake lights of the vehicle ahead and link it to Adaptive Cruise Control, allowing even faster deceleration when following vehicles.

Pre-Collision Reverse Throttle Management* –  With this new feature, if the system detects sudden accelerator input when in reverse, it displays and sounds a warning on sudden unintended acceleration and overrides the throttle to restrict abrupt driving in reverse.

Hazard Avoidance Assist *– Another new feature. If the system determines that collision with another vehicle or obstacle in front of the vehicle is possible, it will assist the driver in steering to avoid the collision, with integrated vehicle control technology in the Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC).

EyeSight has received international acclaim for its contribution to safety and reducing driver fatigue.

Earlier this month, EyeSight rated highly in a new Front Crash Prevention (FCP) test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the United States. The Subaru Legacy sedan (Liberty in Australia) and Outback were the only vehicles to receive the highest possible score of six points.

In Australia, the benefits of EyeSight have been acknowledged by insurers, with some offering up to a 20 per cent premium reduction on Comprehensive Motor Insurance for owners of EyeSight-equipped cars.

Last year, EyeSight won a prestigious Japanese government science and technology award. The five Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) engineers who developed EyeSight received the prize for Science and Technology 2012, Development Category, from Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Note: The names of new functions are tentative. The performance of features may diminish due to factors such as road, weather, and vehicle conditions.