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2013 Subaru Models Get Advanced Safety Technology

The Subaru Legacy and Subaru Outback will get optional high-tech safety features for model year 2013 that were previously found only in more upscale auto brands. This driver assistance technology, which Subaru is calling EyeSight, will include adaptive cruise control, lane departure sensors, pedestrian detection and obstacle avoidance, depending on the vehicle’s speed. The EyeSight system will debut at next month’s New York Auto Show, according to Subaru.

The system’s adaptive cruise control can automatically increase or decrease the speed of the car between zero and 87 mph, to match the speed of the car in front. EyeSight will also include lane departure sensors, which can alert the driver if it senses the car is wandering out of its lane. These two features are fairly common options on luxury cars like the Infiniti M, but unusual for a mainstream brand like Subaru.

Subaru EyeSight will also include pedestrian and obstacle detection, and a feature called pre-collision braking control. A camera system can detect whether a person or object is in the car’s path and alert the driver. If the car is traveling less than 19 mph, the system can bring the vehicle to a complete stop in order to avoid an accident. If the driver is going faster than 19 mph, the system will apply the brakes in order to mitigate the effects of the crash.

The EyeSight system’s cameras take different types of images than other automakers’ radar-based systems, and are mounted in a different location than most, which Subaru says is an improvement. “Key EyeSight elements include a pair of Subaru-designed charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras that produce forward-looking stereo images which cover a wider viewing angle than a conventional -- and costlier -- radar-based system,” writes Kelley Blue Book.

Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but other automakers charge thousands of dollars for similar options packages. Though for now, EyeSight will only be offered on the 2013 Legacy and Outback, Autoblog predicts that the optional package will be available on the rest of Subaru’s lineup before long.

While brands like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus all have similar safety features as EyeSight, Subaru is one of the first mainstream brands to offer all of these features. As we reported last month, high-tech safety features like these tend to trickle down from flagship luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class until they become commonplace among all vehicles.

Not everyone is sold on these technological developments, though. “While such technology may help in specific situations—if a driver is particularly fatigued, for example—there’s no replacing an alert human constantly scanning the road ahead,” notes Car and Driver. “Plus, for enthusiasts, a car that drives itself is no fun at all.”

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