Subaru Corp will make improvements to its "Eyesight ver.3" safe driving support system and equip the new "Levorg" wagon and new "WRX S4" sports sedan to be announced in July 2017 with the system as a standard feature.
The two vehicles will be capable of the "level 2" automatic driving in a single lane of expressway.
The current Eyesight ver.3 uses a stereo camera manufactured by Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd to detect preceding vehicles, pedestrians, motorbikes, traffic lights, white lines, brake lamps, etc. Its preceding vehicle following function (ACC: adaptive cruise control) and lane departure prevention function work when the vehicle speed is 0-100km/h (approx 0-62.1mph) and 60-100km/h, respectively.
On the other hand, both of the ACC and lane departure prevention function of the new system, "Eyesight Touring Assist," work when the vehicle speed is 0-120km/h. Subaru made improvements to the control software of the system and used the same hardware (e.g. camera performance) as the current system.
With the wider operation ranges of the ACC and lane departure prevention, it becomes possible to realize the level 2 automatic driving in a single lane of expressway even when the road is jammed or congested. The level 2 automatic driving is a standard defined by SAE (the Society of Automotive Engineers). It automatically controls acceleration and steering with the system, but the driver mainly takes care of the monitoring of other vehicles and emergency measures. So, it is no more than "driving support."
Subaru plans to equip all of its vehicles (only for the Japanese market for a while) with the improved system as a standard feature at the time of fully or partially remodeling them. The price of the current system is ¥100,000 (approx US$895), and the company plans to sell the new system for ¥120,000-130,000.
Nissan Motor Co Ltd has already realized the level 2 automatic driving in a single lane of expressway with the new "Serena" minivan and new "X-Trail" SUV (sport utility vehicle). Nissan realizes ACC and lane departure prevention that work regardless of vehicle speed by using only a monocular camera to shoot a forward-looking image (Nissan Equips 'X-Trail' SUV With ProPilot).