Although they work in tandem, Eyesight and Vision Assist have different functions and features, so let’s take a look at each in detail.
The third-generation Eyesight system will be standard on the mid-spec Subaru XV 2.0i-L Premium as well as the range topping 2.0i-S Subaru XV and operates through two cameras, mounted one each side of the interior mirror.
The hi-res, colour cameras operate like a pair of eyes, scanning the road and surrounds ahead, to recognise objects, potential hazards and either prevent, or at least minimise, the risk of frontal impacts.
A visual warning on the instrument panel and alarms alert the driver to any dangers and if no action is taken, one or more of the Subaru XV’s safety systems engages.
This latest Eyesight system includes pre-collision braking system which automatically applies the brakes to assist avoiding a collision or to lessen the force of impact.
Speed difference detection has increased from 30km/h on the previous version to 50km/h and object recognition, like brake lights or rapidly decelerating vehicles, is significantly earlier than before.
Pre-collision brake assist, which differs from the previously mentioned system despite similar titles, is triggered by Eyesight and automatically applies full braking power to shorten the braking distance if it identifies the driver is not braking hard enough to avoid a crash.
Throttle applications are also monitored by Eyesight and the pre-collision throttle management system prevents a driver accelerating into a stopped vehicle or object in front of them by alerting the driver and reducing engine power or applying the brakes if no driver inputs are sensed. This is especially handy in situations like accelerating to merge into traffic as the car ahead accelerates, but then suddenly slows or stops.
Eyesight is the catalyst of the Adaptive Cruise Control, with the cameras altering the speed of the Subaru XV to maintain a constant distance to the vehicle in front. With a wider arc being detected by the camera, it picks up vehicles cutting in or changing lanes on multi lane roads.
If Eyesight recognises a potential impact and senses rapid steering movements to avoid it, the VDC control increases turning ability to assist the driver and activates the hazard lights in an emergency stop.
This is only available on the top of the tree Subaru XV 2.0i-S.
While the Eyesight manages any potential hazards forward, Vision Assist monitors the side and rear of the XV via a number of radars. There is one on each side and one below the rear lights, hidden by the rear bumper fascia.
Blind Spot Monitoring identifies if a vehicle is unseen from the driver’s rearward view due to incorrect adjustment of the door mirrors. The XV alerts them by illuminating the lights, embedded in the mirrors.
Another handy feature is the Lane Change Assist which senses a vehicle approaching in an adjacent lane, at the rear of the XV. It determines if there is a risk of collision by the XV driver changing lanes, an audible alert is sounded.
Rear Cross Traffic alert is a relatively new feature and is built into the reversing camera. It sounds a warning if a vehicle is approaching from either side of the XV and there is potential for a collision. The reversing camera in the XV also has guidelines for the first time to assist in reversing.
One element of the Vision Assist that faces forwards are the Steering Responsive Headlights, where the headlight beam moves in sync with the steering input, when turning corners or at intersections and lights up the road where the vehicle is travelling.