Trickle-down technology is how four-wheel anti-lock braking systems went from their production debut on a 1978 Mercedes-Benz S-Class to being standard equipment across the board for all vehicles on the road today. It also explains how advanced technologies like adaptive cruise control, pre-collision auto-braking and, to a lesser extent, lane departure warning, has made its way down the funnel to Subaru's mainstream sedans, the 2013 Legacy and Outback.
Beginning with the 2013 model year, both models will be available with the new Subaru EyeSight driver assistance system that consists of a pair of charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras mounted at the top of the windshield on either side of the rearview mirror. This is different from most car-based camera systems on the market today that use a radar-based system mounted somewhere in the front of the car, usually in the grille or front bumper. Subaru says the placement of its EyeSight cameras should help reduce the potential for damage - and likely very expensive repairs - from minor collisions.
What can EyeSight do exactly? For one, it takes stereo images of the view ahead and can detect obstacles, including pedestrians. Under 19 miles per hour, a Pre-Collision Braking System can slow the vehicle or stop it completely if an obstacle is detected and the driver doesn't act. Above 19 mph, EyeSight can still detect objects and slow the car to mitigate damage from a collision. Likewise, the system can see when you wander outside of a lane without using your turn signal and issue an alert. Finally, EyeSight allows for Adaptive Cruise Control that's functional between a wide range of speeds: from 1-87 mph.