Skip to main content

Subaru Eyesight Is A Big Step To Autonomy

Subaru's latest Outback packs the third generation of its driver assist program Eyesight. Trying it out demonstrates just how far we have come along the road to fully autonomous vehicles.

The Eyesight system does three things, adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance and lane departure warnings.

Rather than the laser based systems that other car makers employ, Subaru's has cameras mounted alongside the rear view mirror and it is the visual information that defines the actions the system will take. For the first time the Eyesight cameras are colour which allows for some improvements to be made to the system.

In adaptive cruise control mode the car maintains a set distance to the vehicle in front. As cars move in and out of lanes it will accelerate or decelerate as necessary. Each time the target vehicle changes the system beeps to warn you that attention is required.

The system will also brake the car down to a standstill if your path is blocked. It can cope with a speed differential of up to 30mph, so can't defeated the laws of physics if you come across a stationary vehicle when tanking down a back road, but it will at least mitigate the impact by applying full braking and, should you attempt to swerve around the obstruction apply the stability control to assist you. If it's a car that stops in front of you, the Eyesight system will recognise the brake lights coming on and apply your own anchors in preparation. If nothing else its reaction should beat yours.

The system will warn you if the car in front has moved off, if you aren't paying attention and will also beep at you if you wander across a lane marker without indicating.

In practice, the various components of the system, working together, allow you to cruise down the motorway without using the pedals. Once you learn to trust the system. The level of concentration necessary is lessened too.

The performance of the system is so good, that I can't help but wonder if the next version will tie into the cars powere steering to take care of direction changes too. Maybe not driving by itself, but certainly assisting with that morning commute.

If the cars on the road today are this good, how far are the cars of tomorrow ahead? In the same week that an autonomous car drove across America the Subaru Eyesight system impressed me massively. The two are closely connected dots on the line to self driving cars.

Whilst we've seen similar functions on other cars, the Outback has Eyesight fitted as standard on a car which is neither expensive nor exclusive. That's a very big step forward indeed.

 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…