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EyeSight safety for Subaru range by ‘end of decade’

Optical optimism: Subaru’s EyeSight active safety system will become standard equipment on flagship Outback and Liberty variants from December.

Top-spec Liberty, Outback get Subaru’s EyeSight safety kit as standard from December

9 Sep 2011

SUBARU’S EyeSight system – which uses twin forward-facing cameras located beside the rear-view mirror to provide seven active and preventative safety functions – will become standard equipment on flagship 3.6R Premium variants of the Liberty sedan and Outback crossover from December.

Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said the company plans to roll out the technology – which has undergone 12 months of testing in Australian conditions –to other models “over the next couple of years” and that it is likely to become standard across the Subaru range “by the end of the decade”.

In the meantime, prices will remain unchanged on the $51,990 Liberty and $55,990 Outback, which will become the first cars to feature the technology outside Japan – where around 50 per cent of Libertys sold now carry it.

The Liberty and Outback will also be some of the least expensive cars in Australia to benefit from the features, which include pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and brake assist, lane departure warning, vehicle sway warning and lead vehicle start alert.

Mr Senior said Subaru Australia is “immensely proud that we can introduce this technology on circa $50,000 vehicles”.

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“There are some EyeSight features that have previously only been available on premium priced cars, in some cases, costing up to four times what our vehicles will.

“It makes for a compelling safety package, of which insurers will hopefully take note when it comes to premiums.

Pre-collision throttle management, designed to avoid (or reduce the impact of) car park accidents by inhibiting throttle inputs when an obstacle in front of the car is detected.

Subaru says the feature could also be useful when a forward gear is inadvertently selected when the driver intends to reverse.

Adaptive cruise control, like similar systems from other manufacturers, maintains a safe distance from the car in front when cruise control is operational.

Unlike some systems, it is operational across the vehicle’s full speed range, including coming to a complete standstill in traffic and moving off from stationary when the vehicle in front does so.

Pre-collision braking and pre-collision brake assist respectively apply the brakes if the system anticipates a collision before the driver and increase brake force for the driver if they are already braking but the system predicts an impact.

Lane departure warning and vehicle sway warning alert the driver if the system detects the car drifting across or swaying between lanes – usually signs of driver fatigue.

Lead vehicle alert emits a chime if the vehicle in front moves off but the driver does not react, for example at traffic lights.

Subaru sales are down 11.7 per cent this year, having suffered stock shortages caused by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

2841 Liberties and 3498 Outbacks have been sold year-to-date, a decline of 37.2 per cent and 16.2 per cent respectively.

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