TOKYO – Subaru is developing new versions of its trademark EyeSight driver assist system that will leverage artificial intelligence to deliver autonomous driving and auto parking.
The all-wheel-drive niche player plans to introduce the new setups from 2025. The technology will build upon Subaru’s stereo camera system and use artificial intelligence to improve computer recognition in hard-to-see situations, such as when road lane markers are covered in snow.
Future versions will use over-the-air updates, though Subaru did not detail a timeline for that.
The systems are being created, in part, at a new artificial intelligence development center where engineers are using machine learning to deliver better safety features at a faster pace.
The Subaru Lab, nestled in Tokyo’s techy Shibuya neighborhood, opened in December 2020 and is now ramping up operations with the pandemic slowdown in the rearview mirror.
Eiji Shibata, director of Subaru Lab and a senior program manager at the engineering unit, outlined the latest safety technology steps in a briefing on Wednesday.
Further evolution of EyeSight is a critical brand differentiator for Subaru, he said.
“Subaru’s approach is how to reduce traffic accident fatalities to zero as soon as possible rather than focusing on autonomous driving,” Shibata said.
In June, Tokyo-based Subaru reached a milestone of selling 5 million vehicles equipped with EyeSight systems, since introducing the technology in 2008. Today, EyeSight equipped models account for about 91 percent of Subaru’s sales worldwide, and 96 percent in the U.S.
Subaru’s moves are part of the company’s long-term ambition to achieve zero road fatalities by 2030 among people involved in collisions with the brand’s vehicles.