Days of self-driving car is coming near. Google is working hard at getting their self-driving car out to market and many manufacturers started to come out with their versions of crash avoidance or pre-collision warning systems on their high-end models.
Such crash avoidance system uses radars, sensors, and/or cameras to detect impending and imminent collision, warns the driver, and even stops the car entirely to prevent or minimize the frontal crash.
As I was shopping for a new car, especially an All-Wheel-Drive models to fend off the possibly worsening New Jersey winter, very fortunately, ran into several versions of this incredible technology.
My search started with Audi Q5. Their system is called pre-sense front. Turned out, at the time of research (2014), their Q5 did not even have the system as option. The only model that had this technology was with A3 and A6, which cost upwards of $60,000. To add to the pain, interesting fact was that the dealers did not even carry models with this technology. If you wanted one, you would have to order it from the factory and wait a few months.
So, Audi Q5 was out, because it was a bit pricey but also there just wasn’t any Q5 with this technology in the lot. I quickly switched to more affordable models and started look into Subaru since it is known for its Symmetrical AWD, and Forester for it was Subaru’s version of rugged AWD model that won numerous awards in the past.
Luck has me that after I actually purchased the all-newly designed Subaru Forester 2014 2.5i Limited, I noticed that there was a version with an option called EyeSight. Albeit this option was only available on the highest model called Touring, it was definitely worth $5,000 extra. Well, it was more like $2,600 extra options such as HID light and Navigation, plus $2,400 for the EyeSight. After researching into EyeSight, finding out that this was exactly the technology I was looking for, but it had so much more than Audi’s pre-sense, for only $2,400, I quickly called up the dealer and switched it to 2014 Forester 2.5i Touring with Navigation/HID/EyeSight. To this day, this was the best decision I made in a long time!
Unlike other manufacturers, including Audi, where purchasing this whole crash avoidance system is very confusing and costly (the dealership usually nickel-and-dime you since saying goes that if you can afford bells-and-whistles, then they guess that you usually have the dough), Subaru’s option was completely simple: it is equipped only on its highest-end model and it cost $2,400 more. But even with the highest model, it was literally $20,000 cheaper than what might have been with Q5.
Are you ready to learn about EyeSight? There are numerous videos and articles that you can watch and read up, but to simply put, it uses two cameras to have stereoscopic view in front of the car and detects objects. This ability to detect objects in real-time is then used to provide the following life-saving, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, incredible technologies:
- Pre-Collision Warning: When the car detects imminent crash, it first sets off a loud audible beeps with flashing warning dashboard light.
- Pre-Collision Braking: If the driver does not apply the brake, then the car applies the emergency brake for you, even stopping the car completely within 25mph.
- Pre-Collision Throttle Management: Sometimes you are so focused on the incoming cars on your left in the intersection, that you thought the car in front moved and stepped on the accelerator to speed up, only to find out that the car actually didn’t move but stopped fully. In such scenario, a crash is sometimes unavoidable. Thanks to two cameras always watching on the road, it knows that the car is still there in front and throttles down the engine so even if you step on the gas fully, the car won’t go fast but moves slightly, avoiding possibly a big accident.
- Adaptive Cruise Control: I love this feature the most since I get to use it every day as it actually helps me lift some burden of daily driving. Basically, it locks on the car in front, and it would automatically speed up and speed down and “follow” the car in the front, even bringing the car to a complete stop. A simple push of a button resumes the adaptive cruise control from stop. How convenient is this! I found this feature as a huge safety feature, since we all know how distracted we get, especially with kids in the car. But this is no excuse for you to actually do other things such as texting! Texting kills lives!
- Lane Departure Warning: This feature is mostly annoying but it can actually save your life! It did save mine once so far. Basically, the camera will know if you are within your lane or not by seeing the lane markings on the road. As soon as you cross over to the opposite lane, or another lane without the side signal, it will give off light beeps. Well, if you are sleepy, or get distracted, and car started to shift over to the opposite lane, you better want to know, otherwise, it will be a deadly mistake.
- Detecting Car Moving in Front: This feature is interesting and convenient enough that I wanted to mention. When the car in the front moves, the system give off an audible beep with text saying that the “Vehicle in front has moved”. This will help you avoid the honking of cars behind you.
Here is a test of EyeSight from one of Subaru dealer’s demo:
Here is a video I created after getting fascinated about its feature:
Here is the IIHS crash avoidance test performed:
There you have it! Please do me a huge favor, that when you are getting a new car, do consider hard getting a car equipped with a crash avoidance system. If it has an adaptive cruise control that can stop and go in traffic, even better! These are essential, must-have technologies that will pay for itself with one accident prevented, but even more so, these incredible technologies will potentially save you and your family’s lives from our negligence, mistakes, or even from others!
Be sure to check out more exciting 2014 Subaru Forester reviews!