In a world of autonomous technology, Subaru is laying low on the front—and for good reason.
Volkswagen, Volvo, FCA, Tesla and BMW are just a few of the companies that are currently investing time and money into autonomous research and implementation.
While the intelligence and innovation are beyond notable in the sector, autonomous driving is not anywhere near where it needs to be.
And that’s why Subaru is holding back—for now.
At this rate, nearly all automakers will eventually hop on the autonomous train; it’s just a matter of time.
But Subaru is in no rush. At the New York Auto Show, CEO Tom Doll spoke with Car Advice and stated, “We are going to do it in a way to make sure our customers are safe, we are going to try and prevent collisions first, and from there we will take it forward.”
Safety has always been a core belief of the brand. With recent reports of accidents and even fatalities involving autonomous cars, Subaru is taking its time to polish its current technology—EyeSight—for the sake of their drivers instead of delving into autonomous technology.
EyeSight is a suite of safety features that comprises systems like lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. A new aspect of this suite is facial recognition, a semi-autonomous feature, which will be introduced in the all-new Forester later this year.
This technology is able to recognize the driver’s face, and if it senses distraction or fatigue, it will emit an alert to draw his/her attention back to the road.
In Japan, it also recently introduced the Touring Assist function to select vehicles, which has the capability to engage accelerating, braking and steering while traveling to assist drivers.
The automaker does have plans to dabble in fully autonomous tech in the future, but they want it to “mature” to a more sophisticated level before even approaching the matter.
There’s no telling when that will be, but Doll comments, “It’s out there, we don’t have a specific timetable, I won’t say decades but it’s not imminent.”