The standard fitment of autonomous emergency braking (AEB) technology in Subaru’s latest Liberty and Outback models has been a significant contributor to increased sales volume in Australia, the Japanese carmaker’s local arm says.
Subaru’s EyeSight system, first introduced to the company’s Australian range on Liberty and Outback models in 2012, utilises a pair of road-facing cameras and a specialised onboard computer to determine the likelihood of a collision, and then step in to assist the driver.
Now into its third generation, the technology is again standard on all new 2015 Liberty models and all petrol variants in the 2015 Outback ranges, which landed in Australia earlier this year. The system is also standard on up-spec Forester SUV models.
According to Subaru Australia, models equipped with EyeSight made up a significant 9965 of the brand’s 21,659 sales in the first half of 2015. That achievement is helped by a huge increase in Liberty and Outback sales, with the all-new and more affordable 2015 pair comfortably outstripping demand for their predecessors.
Year to date, Subaru has notched up 2415 sales of the Liberty, compared to 687 for the same period in 2014, while 6310 sales for the new Outback - against 1533 at this point last year - reflect a general preference in the market for SUV models.
“Certainly there is broad acceptance among Subaru customers of the fantastic technology EyeSight represents and its ability to either help avoid accidents or reduce the severity of collisions,” Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said today.
Subaru has yet to confirm availability of EyeSight across its wider line-up, and the small Impreza remains a glaring omission from the list of models equipped with the advanced system.
American-market versions of the Impreza benefited from an upgrade to EyeSight in late 2014, but a key Australian update earlier this year saw local buyers miss out.
Speaking with CarAdvice today, Subaru Australia communications manager David Rowley said that although the company’s local arm is eager to have EyeSight available in more models, it remains at the mercy of development and production schedules.
“The percentages [of EyeSight availability] have increased markedly even over the past year, and we’ve stated that it will continue to trickle into other models and variants as and when Fuji [Subaru parent company Fuji Heavy Industries] can calibrate the equipment, basically,” Rowley said.
“It’s purely a matter of ‘R&D’ resources with FHI, where they have different availability for different markets in terms of calibration. We’ve said though to FHI that we would love to see this technology on all models that we possibly can.”