• Sep 4, 2008
Both Honda and Toyota have been toying with laser-based Active Cruise Control systems for over a decade now, while the German luxury car makers have offered more expensive radar-based gizmos for almost as long. The premise of both is that an electronic copilot keeps an eye on the road ahead maintaining a safe distance from the car in front, even slamming the brakes at the last moment in an emergency should the driver fail to react.

Now, Subaru has come up with a third system, which while not quite as advanced as KITT, is as close as we've ever seen. For a premium of $3,000 a new JDM Legacy or Outback can be fitted with twin cameras, one on each side of the rear view mirror, that use human like stereoscopic vision to judge distances and generally keep tabs on the driver. Not only does "EyeSight", as the system is called, can help you keep your distance on the highway (which would have been handy for the McRae convoy on Sunday) and in stop start traffic, but also incorporates a lane departure warning system, a wake up call should everyone pull away from the lights but you (put your iPhone down), and even keeps an eye out for pedestrians while you look for that illusive break in traffic at a T-junction. Best of all, EyeSight will stop you driving through your own garage door because you selected Drive instead of Reverse – a shockingly common occurrence according to Subaru.

Click through to Subaru's Japanese website to see a cool Flash presentation and video of the system in action. First click "Pick Up – EyeSight" then the engine start button, then (once the Intro finishes) EyeSight TECHNOLOGY Movie.

Three thousand bucks may sound like a lot of money, but how much do garages charge to repair even a minor fender bender these days?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 16 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think that is ugly the way they have it up high like that. I don't get why they cant put this in the grill, but I'm sure they would hide it better if they could.
      • 6 Years Ago
      i'd rather have lasers... or a plasma cannon.
        FEW
        • 6 Years Ago
        + 1 on the plasma cannon
        • 6 Years Ago
        plasma cannon? sounds like you got a bit of ironhide in you.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd rather have a cannon that can work off sound waves. You could have a heck of a subwoofer that also destroys autos without leaving behind any amo!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Damn,

      JDM Subarus get EVERYTHING.

      S402, now stereoscopic vision... My USDM Legacy GT feels left out, not to mention all the STI catalog goodies, and multiple stereo options, and more that USDM loses out on.

      [shakes fist at Subaru of America]
      • 6 Years Ago
      at least this wouldn't set off a radar detector
      • 6 Years Ago
      Japanese companies usually keep their latest technology in the home market and then export it to us after it's been replaced in Japan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isnt a stethoscope the thing you put in your ears to listen to faint noises. Usually used by doctors?
        • 6 Years Ago
        "stereo" - two or both, reading > you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The garage door is one thing, but the elusive (not illusive!) gap in traffic which we have to watch out for is a consequence of the misguided main road priority rule which contrives conflict, has helped kill more people than died in two world wars, produces a "need" for traffic lights (to interrupt the priority streams of traffic), and a market for £3000 gizmos to help us emerge unscathed from junctions made lethal by that very priority rule. There is a simple solution. Abolish main road priority, which removes the "need" for lights and the need for speed, enabling all road-users to do what is natural and intrinsically safe: use commonsense and common courtesy to filter in turn. In other words, temporal, not directional priority. Instead of consecutive stop-start queueing, we get simultaneous filtering - infinitely more civilised and efficient. More on this at www.fitroads.org
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm unconvinced. A year or two ago, my neighborhood lost power for a few hours. Included in the area without power was a stop light at the largest intersection in the neighborhood. Without power to the intersection, everyone treated it as a 4-way stop. Traffic was backed up for blocks.

        While I'm used to seeing traffic backed up for block at that intersection during weekday evening rush hours, that's the only time I've ever seen traffic backed up there on a sunday afternoon. My only conclusion is that it's less efficient to let people make their own decisions in such a situation, primarily because most people make such bad ones.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm all for this and hope to see it make it stateside. I'm in need to replace my lease in the next 9 months and would love to get a Subaru but the lack of an available active cruise control system is disappointing. I utilize active cruise for my long daily commutes to make them much easier.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What car are you using it on now? How do you like it? Is it radar based?
      • 6 Years Ago
      In response to Carl, I'm not saying filter in turn is a panacea, and concede that it won't work in all locations at all times, but it's never been tested. It could be that with some re-education about priority, and entering junctions only when your exit is clear, it could work universally. The theory of spontaneous order states that the more complex the ballet of human movement (e.g. a skateboard park) the less useful are attempts to control it. In London in Nov 2006, there was a power cuts across the entire West End. Cycling from King's Cross via Cambridge Circus down Shaftesbury Ave and through Piccadilly Circus was a rare pleasure. The familiar congestion, which in my experience is conjured by interminable traffic lights, had vanished into thin air. The same freedom from aggression and congestion was apparent across Holborn in Feb 2007 during a second massive power outage.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, I love my Subaru and am glad to see that a future Subaru will love me back through this gizmo...I wonder how it will work in the rain. Maybe they'll have to put some cute little wipers up at the top of the windscreen.

      I also wonder if those IR radiation sources will be strong enough to confuse laser-equipped officers of the law. I remember a test several years ago in one of the mags where they found that the best way to defeat laser was to mount a high-powered driving light and put a gel over it so that it emitted an IR spectrum.

      Also, if you can turn it off so that it doesn't "over-nanny" you that would be great. OTOH, there are lots of Subies up here in New England and this thing might combat the typical New England driver's propensity to - um - "sniff your butt" in any traffic situation and on any type of road.
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