The Next Subaru Legacy and Outback To Offer Advanced Collision Avoidance

By Jason Davis | March 19, 2012
The 2013 Subaru Legacy and Subaru Outback (a Legacy wagon on stilts) are supposed to debut at next month's New York International Auto Show. If you're not as excited for awesome all-wheel drive, consider that the refreshed vehicles will also be sporting a host of smart technology, including Subaru's newest EyeSight System. Subaru's EyeSight System comprises a stereo camera that utilizes two CCD image sensors mounted at the top of the windshield which are linked to car's braking and electronic throttle. From there the system controls Subaru's Pre-Collision Braking System, Lane Departure, and Adaptive Cruise Control. Yes, other brands, such as Mercedes-Benz and Lexus and Volvo, among others, have used these features for years, but the system on the Subaru Legacy will be one of the most affordable in the US, and will subsequently migrate to other models in the lineup. The difference between the system debuting on the Subaru Legacy compared to its competition is how it senses traffic and pedestrians. Most manufacturers use radar. Subaru will deploy a stereo camera, which in this instance, refers to stereoscopic, the illusion of creating depth in an image by using two sources from different perspectives, and not stereophonic, which is just two channels of an audio source. The advantage is a wider area of detection than what radar can offer. Subaru also says its camera system will be safer at the top of the windshield than bumper-mounted radar systems, which are vulnerable to parking lot damage.
There is one potential drawback to a camera image, though. Depending on the light spectrum to which it is sensitive, such as the visible spectrum that human's see, the stereo camera may only be as good as the fortunate weather around it. We're awaiting word from Subaru to clarify, though it is possible that EyeSight could use the infrared spectrum, which is a longer wavelength than visible light, and thus, could penetrate some weather conditions. We're looking forward to testing EyeSight when it becomes available in Subaru Legacy and Subaru Outback models later this year, and we hope to have demonstrative video around the time of unveil early next month from New York. Source: Subaru