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Subaru technology Photo: Supplied
 
 
David McCowen | Jul, 04 2018 | 0 Comments

Subaru is working on cruise control systems that can recognise traffic lights and bring cars to a safe stop. 

The brand’s EyeSight safety suite, which includes active cruise control, already represents one of the most comprehensive driver safety packages available on regular vehicles. Going beyond the use of radar sensors in front of modern vehicles, Subaru uses a colour camera to detect brake lights, offering customers a smooth stop-and-go active cruise control function which is particularly welcome in heavy traffic. 

The brand is working on applying that technology to traffic lights, which might mean customers could drive in urban environments without touching the brake pedal - simply setting the correct speed using cruise control, before allowing the car’s sensors to slow or stop when objects or intersections arise.

Subaru engineer Normiasa Kaneko spoke with Drive at the launch of the new Forester SUV in Japan, saying the manufacturer is already experimenting with traffic light recognition in customer vehicles.

“Currently the function is only applied for the Japanese market spec,” he says.

“It doesn’t stop, it reduces the acceleration level. 

“When the ACC - the cruise control - is on and the vehicle is accelerated, the level of acceleration is limited when the EyeSight detects the red light.

“It doesn’t stop automatically. You still have to engage the brake.”

As for bringing vehicles to a complete stop?

"We are studying that,” he said.

“We can’t disclose everything about the future. At this point, let us decline to answer.”

The traffic light recognition feature may not be available when the new Forester arrives in Australia, where EyeSight will be standard on all models.

But Australian vehicles are likely to benefit from ground-breaking tech including a head-on collision avoidance system which can steer you back into the correct lane to avoid a potentially fatal prang, active blind spot assistance which goes beyond warning lamps to nudge you away from a collision, and a facial recognition system which can detect signs of drowsiness.

Conveniently, the latter system can recognise who is behind d the wheel at the start of a journey before adopting their preferred seating, climate control and mirror position preferences.

 
Filed under Safety Subaru
 
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