Subaru has sold more than one million cars with its much-praised EyeSight safety system, a suite of driver-assist aids endorsed by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for its effectiveness.
The milestone came eight years and seven months after Subaru first launched it in Japan. EyeSight is available in New Zealand on Legacy, Outback, Levorg, premium Forester, and upcoming new Impreza. The current Impreza-based WRX and STi don’t have it. Nor does the XV.
The camera-based system is one of the few frontal crash prevention aids to earn a perfect score in the American IIHS tests. Ace British driver Ben Collins, aka ‘The Stig’, also gave EyeSight top marks, describing it as “cutting edge” technology.
EyeSight relies solely on stereo cameras mounted on either side of the rear-view mirror. They monitor the road ahead and if an obstacle is detected, the driver is warned.
The brakes are automatically applied if the warning is ignored, bringing the car to a stop to avoid a collision at speeds of up to 50km/h and reducing the speed of impact between 51km/h and 180km/h.
Japan’s Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis shows that cars with EyeSight had 61 per cent fewer accidents resulting in injury or death per 10,000 vehicles. They also had 84 per cent fewer rear-end collisions.
A recent survey by Subaru Australia of an Adelaide company that has a fleet of 125 Subarus, 51 of which are equipped with EyeSight, showed 358 incidents of damage since January 1, 2014 – but only one to an EyeSight vehicle.
Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) will celebrate its centennial on April 1, 2017, by changing its name to Subaru Corporation. No, it’s not an early April Fool.
The company said in a statement: “The purpose of this shift is to further accelerate our efforts to enhance the Subaru brand and achieve even greater growth for Subaru as a distinctive global brand in the automotive and aerospace industries.”
FHI traces its roots to the founding of the Aircraft Research Laboratory, which later became Nakajima Aircraft Co., in 1917. The FHI name was launched in 1953, and the core motoring business began under the Subaru name in 1958.
Subaru is also Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster, and it serves as a symbol of the six sibling companies that formed Fuji in 1953.