Soapbox (car safety features)

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4nursebee
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Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by 4nursebee » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:01 am

Forgive my new found fanaticism.

Years ago I learned about some available safety features from following the Tesla car company. While out of my price league I tried to learn more about them. I considered a new car a year or two ago, drove a Honda but the front camera or radar fell off. About a month ago we bought a 2016 Subaru Outback with the Eyesight system, here is our experience.

Lane departure warning is always on. We enjoy taking in the sights as we drive and have worried that going off the road would be how we died. Not so any more with this gently beeping warning. I must be a bad driver cause it sure goes off a lot.

Lane Keep Assist- optional to turn it on or off, a little unnerving. Basically when one starts to go over the line it gently steers you back in the lane. Not autopilot, but a great feature for those driven to distraction.

Back up camera: no kids here but we understand the issues, great stuff.

Rear object warning (or something like that): Great for backing up our of blind parking.

Blind spot warning: For this car one has to condition themselves to see the lights flashing in the mirror prior to changing lanes. I think it alarms audibly if one tries to move into another car.

Adaptive cruise control: OMG! 2K miles already and this is good stuff, especially in slower highway traffic. One is able to adjust how closely to follow a car. It will slow to a stop and the resume with just a touch of the gas.

From a stop, the car also alarms when the car in front of you has moved and you do not start up.

I think there is some kind of auto braking to keep you from crashing into objects, we did not test this out yet....

OVERALL, working in a hospital and seeing the number of car crashes that could be avoided with such features, we AGREE with consumer reports that all such features out to be mandatory. If you are considering a new car purchase, please consider self insuring and spend up to buy such features, the life you save might be your own.

I also envision a future without accidents and grid tied cars. It will be a sad day for all those that satisfy ego with autos.
4nursebee

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:30 am

4nursebee wrote:Lane departure warning is always on. We enjoy taking in the sights as we drive and have worried that going off the road would be how we died. Not so any more with this gently beeping warning. I must be a bad driver cause it sure goes off a lot.
Not necessarily a bad driver, if you're alone on the road. It's normal to seek out a line where you set this warning off; it's only a problem if you're in traffic.

I'm glad you find the adaptive cruise control so valuable. I had no idea, until I borrowed one of my kids' cars that has it, and I arrived at my destination much less stressed than normal. My rough estimate is that more than half of the stress reduction, relative to current autopilot capabilities in a Tesla, is provided by ACC (since you still have to pay attention even if the car is steering).

My son was an EMT. He describes coming up to crashes where, by the looks of the cars, he assumed that someone was dead or seriously injured, but he found the drivers shaken but not broken. Passive safety features are worth getting a new car for. Btw, when he looked for a car, he looked at Subaru and Volvo, and got a nice deal on a CPO Volvo S60.

I am finding that these Driver Assist features are making taking a road trip something I consider. Tomorrow, I'm going to visit a son of mine, two hours away, just to show hm my new car and have a nice dinner. It's a trip I would previously have made only when it was necessary.

Congratulations on your new safe vehicle. Drive it n good health!

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Kosmo
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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Kosmo » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:00 am

While I have not driven with most of these safety features, I don't like the directions things are headed. I find blind spot warning to be distracting, which is the exact opposite of its intent. I think the majority of these things will lead to more inattentive drivers because people will be relying 100% on the car to think and possibly react for them. Case in point:
4nursebee wrote:Lane departure warning is always on. We enjoy taking in the sights as we drive and have worried that going off the road would be how we died. Not so any more with this gently beeping warning. I must be a bad driver cause it sure goes off a lot.
I hope I'm proven wrong and these features do prevent accidents. But from my experience (although not in the auto industry), the best way to prevent or reduce the severity of an unavoidable accident is to have an attentive operator.

Semi-related: How does lane departure warning and lane keep assist differentiate between inadvertent drift and deliberate turning/lane changes? I would not want the car flashing/beeping/fighting me every time I need to slide over.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Ron » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:05 am

Kosmo wrote:Semi-related: How does lane departure warning and lane keep assist differentiate between inadvertent drift and deliberate turning/lane changes? I would not want the car flashing/beeping/fighting me every time I need to slide over.
If you use your turn signal (which you should), the feature will be disabled while you turn.

- Ron

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by miles2go » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:11 am

Kosmo wrote:While I have not driven with most of these safety features, I don't like the directions things are headed. I find blind spot warning to be distracting, which is the exact opposite of its intent. I think the majority of these things will lead to more inattentive drivers because people will be relying 100% on the car to think and possibly react for them. Case in point:
4nursebee wrote:Lane departure warning is always on. We enjoy taking in the sights as we drive and have worried that going off the road would be how we died. Not so any more with this gently beeping warning. I must be a bad driver cause it sure goes off a lot.
I hope I'm proven wrong and these features do prevent accidents. But from my experience (although not in the auto industry), the best way to prevent or reduce the severity of an unavoidable accident is to have an attentive operator.

Semi-related: How does lane departure warning and lane keep assist differentiate between inadvertent drift and deliberate turning/lane changes? I would not want the car flashing/beeping/fighting me every time I need to slide over.
I think they said similar things when airbags debuted. I understand your sentiment that it may promote laziness but personally why not elect more safety features especially when endorsed by consumer reports and NHTSA? Be vigilant AND have the features.

Lane departure doesnt activate when you use your signal. It uses the signal as your intention.

IMHO, Forward collision warning/mitigation on Subaru is great and well worth it if it ever prevents or lessens impact.
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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by livesoft » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:28 am

I saw the posts here about the Subaru, so I talked to my friends and neighbors about the safety features in their newish cars. While none of them had Subarus, most of them had these safety features for a few years now, including KeepLane, AdaptiveCruise, Braking, cameras, beeping, etc.
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corysold
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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by corysold » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:00 am

I get the sense that safe drivers are safe drivers and aggressive drivers are aggressive regardless of what safety features the car has.

Better features will make a safe driver more safe. Those same features might give the aggressive driver more ways to drive recklessly. The youtube videos of drivers in the backseat reading while their Tesla was on autopilot supports this.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by INDUBITABLY » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:00 am

I reckon making a breathalyzer ignition interlock mandatory and requiring the cabin to be radio-impermeable on cellular frequencies would be cheaper, simpler and more effective than the active nanny features, but for some reason no manufacturer is marketing those.
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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by researcher » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:07 am

4nursebee wrote:Adaptive cruise control: OMG! 2K miles already and this is good stuff, especially in slower highway traffic. One is able to adjust how closely to follow a car. It will slow to a stop and the resume with just a touch of the gas.
Why would I want my driving/speed dictated by whomever happens to be in front of me? For example...
- I'm behind a mindless idiot who slows to 40MPH to eat their breakfast. My car slows to 40MPH.
- They finish their McMuffin and speed up to 90MPH. My car then automatically accelerates to 90MPH.
- Wait, they need to send a text and slow down to 50MPH. I'm now driving at 50MPH.

Can you help me understand why this is a desirable feature?
Wouldn't you want to get away from such vehicle and drive at the pace you decide on?

To me, cruise control is a tool to use during long distance highway driving in which your speed stays fairly constant.
Why would anyone use such a feature in heavy, slow moving traffic? Shouldn't YOU be in control of the vehicle in those situations?

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by barnaclebob » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:16 am

researcher wrote:
4nursebee wrote:Adaptive cruise control: OMG! 2K miles already and this is good stuff, especially in slower highway traffic. One is able to adjust how closely to follow a car. It will slow to a stop and the resume with just a touch of the gas.
Why would I want my driving/speed dictated by whomever happens to be in front of me? For example...
- I'm behind a mindless idiot who slows to 40MPH to eat their breakfast. My car slows to 40MPH.
- They finish their McMuffin and speed up to 90MPH. My car then automatically accelerates to 90MPH.
- Wait, they need to send a text and slow down to 50MPH. I'm now driving at 50MPH.

Can you help me understand why this is a desirable feature?
Wouldn't you want to get away from such vehicle and drive at the pace you decide on?

To me, cruise control is a tool to use during long distance highway driving in which your speed stays fairly constant.
Why would anyone use such a feature in heavy, slow moving traffic? Shouldn't YOU be in control of the vehicle in those situations?
The example you give is an exaggeration and doesn't apply to every day moderate traffic highway driving.

When I get a car with auto crash avoidance braking I'm going to set up some cardboard boxes to test it out.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by JonnyDVM » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:19 am

4nursebee wrote:Forgive my new found fanaticism.

OVERALL, working in a hospital and seeing the number of car crashes that could be avoided with such features, we AGREE with consumer reports that all such features out to be mandatory. If you are considering a new car purchase, please consider self insuring and spend up to buy such features, the life you save might be your own.

I also envision a future without accidents and grid tied cars. It will be a sad day for all those that satisfy ego with autos.
Our new car with a backup cam and blind spot monitors has already had a noticeable impact on driving safety. Especially my wife who loves to merge without looking. It won't be long before all cars are automated and knowing how to drive will be a skill like knowing how to use a typewriter is a skill today. Looking forward to it. I could get a lot of stuff done while my car drives me where I need to go.
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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by researcher » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:30 am

barnaclebob wrote:The example you give is an exaggeration and doesn't apply to every day moderate traffic highway driving.
It is definitely not an exaggeration. I see examples of this EVERY DAY on my commute to/from work.

Are you saying you don't regularly see people speeding along the highway, slow down as they are responding to a text message, then speed back up when they are done texting? Or do they same when eating their morning breakfast?

Distracted driving is an epidemic in this country. I'm surprised you haven't witnessed it yourself. The last thing I'd want to do is set my adaptive cruise control so I could mindlessly trail behind these idiots at a predetermined distance.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:39 am

@Researcher, it is an exaggeration to say that ACC would force you to match speed with th idiot. Just as without it, you would pass the idiot when they're going 40. Barring that, If the idiot sped up to 90, your vehicle would only go as fast as you have the upper limit set (in my car, I set it to 5 mph above the posted speed limit).

You might want to research what ACC does.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by researcher » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:06 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:@Researcher, it is an exaggeration to say that ACC would force you to match speed with th idiot. Just as without it, you would pass the idiot when they're going 40. Barring that, If the idiot sped up to 90, your vehicle would only go as fast as you have the upper limit set (in my car, I set it to 5 mph above the posted speed limit).
I was responding to how the OP uses this feature. In case you missed it...
"Adaptive cruise control: OMG! 2K miles already and this is good stuff, especially in slower highway traffic. One is able to adjust how closely to follow a car. It will slow to a stop and the resume with just a touch of the gas."

It sure sounds like they are following behind vehicles, slowing down & speeding up, based on what the person in front of them is doing. Wouldn't you agree?

Also, I never said ACC "forces" you to match speed with the lead car. Of course you can go around them.
But then you aren't using and don't need the "adaptive" portion of cruise control. Unless you are one of the mindless drivers who simply want to follow the person in front without having to pay attention.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by TomatoTomahto » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:45 pm

Just so you know, ACC will go the lesser of
A safe following distance (you have some ability to set this)
A speed you have set (in my case, it is the posted speed limit as discerned by the car's camera plus 5 mph, pssst don't tell the authorities)

Just between the two of us, aren't you being intentionally and stubbornly literal? I'm sure that someone with your username could figure out how ACC works. Nobody is forcing you to use it, but you might want to try it and see what you think.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by corn18 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:49 pm

researcher wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:@Researcher, it is an exaggeration to say that ACC would force you to match speed with th idiot. Just as without it, you would pass the idiot when they're going 40. Barring that, If the idiot sped up to 90, your vehicle would only go as fast as you have the upper limit set (in my car, I set it to 5 mph above the posted speed limit).
I was responding to how the OP uses this feature. In case you missed it...
"Adaptive cruise control: OMG! 2K miles already and this is good stuff, especially in slower highway traffic. One is able to adjust how closely to follow a car. It will slow to a stop and the resume with just a touch of the gas."

It sure sounds like they are following behind vehicles, slowing down & speeding up, based on what the person in front of them is doing. Wouldn't you agree?

Also, I never said ACC "forces" you to match speed with the lead car. Of course you can go around them.
But then you aren't using and don't need the "adaptive" portion of cruise control. Unless you are one of the mindless drivers who simply want to follow the person in front without having to pay attention.
Maybe you should research how ACC works.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by btenny » Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:51 pm

Adaptive Cruise Control is a great feature but it has issues IMO. I am sure it would have helped me ton last week. I spent 3.5 hours driving across LA last week in heavy traffic. It was a total mess on a Monday Evening, constant speeding up to 70MPH and then slowing to 30MPH and then even some stopping. Never passed a wreck but boy was the traffic bad. I was completely worn out from that drive and had to stop for the evening instead of driving to our final destination.

My friends have a Legacy with all these features and they like the car but are annoyed by all the alarms. They tell me they leave stuff turned off most times. I guess the lane departure stuff does not work well in mountain areas or where the lines are not "robust and well marked". Snow plows tend to remove the lines over the winter.

I know I am not sure if the cars are really safe at this early time in the feature evolution. Allowing car steering to be done by computer is really a terrible safety issue IMO. Will the computer fail and crash the car? Can the computer be hacked and crash the car? How prone is the software to software bugs? How many wrecks will be caused by these failures before they recall all the cars? Will the issues with these features be made public so car buyers can really judge how good the cars technology performs? Do you really want you car steering to be as buggy as your PC?

Just thinking as I look around for new car.
Good Luck.


PS. I have a 2013 Subaru Outback without those features and have several issues with the car so buyer beware. The front seats are hard and uncomfortable. The passenger seat is just bad. No tilt or height adjustment so with any forward stop you slide out of the seat. The seat is so low I get backache in about 1 hour of freeway driving if I am setting the passenger seat. The steering it too tight which makes for nice control but tiring for road trips. The paint is soft and bugs pit the paint and cannot be removed without leaving holes everywhere on the front of the car. The front looks bad after a few road trips and cannot be smoothed out. Same issue with the windshield, soft glass that has pitted all over from bugs. The car has 28K miles and needs a new windshield due to pitting. Oh and the radio is just poor even for the upgraded version I have. The sound is flat. And the cell phone interface is only useful if you are answering a call. Forget calling out, you will have to get out your phone and dial from there.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by randomguy » Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:22 pm

researcher wrote:
4nursebee wrote:Adaptive cruise control: OMG! 2K miles already and this is good stuff, especially in slower highway traffic. One is able to adjust how closely to follow a car. It will slow to a stop and the resume with just a touch of the gas.
Why would I want my driving/speed dictated by whomever happens to be in front of me? For example...
- I'm behind a mindless idiot who slows to 40MPH to eat their breakfast. My car slows to 40MPH.
- They finish their McMuffin and speed up to 90MPH. My car then automatically accelerates to 90MPH.
- Wait, they need to send a text and slow down to 50MPH. I'm now driving at 50MPH.

Can you help me understand why this is a desirable feature?
Wouldn't you want to get away from such vehicle and drive at the pace you decide on?

To me, cruise control is a tool to use during long distance highway driving in which your speed stays fairly constant.
Why would anyone use such a feature in heavy, slow moving traffic? Shouldn't YOU be in control of the vehicle in those situations?
Versus
a) keeping driving 60 and rear ending them:)
b) You set the max speed. It will not go above that
c) again you rear end them:)

Seriously look at the stats of low speed rear end collisions. It is easy to say they are all avoidable. Reality is they happen and this tech has ben shown to drop them by significant amounts. And no expecting people to be better drivers isn't the answer. It just isn't going to happen.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:00 pm

Our new 2016 Forester had adaptive cruise control. Love it. It saves me a lot of braking, then re-enabling cruise control when I follow vehicles that don't drive constant speed. I am still monitoring what is going on and can intervene, but it takes over routine boring tasks.
Last edited by TravelGeek on Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

researcher
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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by researcher » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:09 pm

Maybe you should research how ACC works.
You might want to research what ACC does.
I'm sure that someone with your username could figure out how ACC works.
I'm not sure why the assumptions that I don't know how ACC works. It's very simple. It operates just like standard cruise control, except it will adjust YOUR vehicle speed to maintain a specified distance from whatever vehicle happens to be in front of you.
- If the vehicle in front of you slows down, you slow down.
- If the vehicle in front of you speeds up, you speed up (to a pre-determined limit).

I'm questioning why the person directly in front of you is your benchmark. Do you people use this feature in heavy or stop-n-go traffic?
I'm not looking at the bumper in front of my to determine my speed. I'm looking 10/20/50 cars ahead. When people start jamming on their brakes, I either start slowing down gradually or change lanes to avoid the chain reaction slowdown. I see the same pattern every day...
- Cars merge onto the highway, immediately bolt to the left lane, then follow the car in front of them like a line of sheep.
- Traffic slows ahead, no one looking further than the bumper directly in front, and everyone jams on their brakes.

Are you using ACC simply so you don't have to pay attention to traffic and can keep from rear-ending the car in front of you?

If not, please provide examples of where you find it beneficial to pace the car directly in front of you.

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queso
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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by queso » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:15 pm

Distracted driving is an epidemic in this country.
I'm no luddite, but I do wonder if we are introducing all these features to enable people to eat, text, make phone calls, etc. while in the car without killing innocent people rather than attacking the real problem. It seems to me we need to come up with better technologies to limit the use of smartphones while people are behind the wheel. Every time someone is all over the place or sitting still at a green light I notice the driver fiddling with a phone. I'm honestly shocked we haven't addressed this problem since it seems to me to be at least as dangerous as drunk driving or perhaps a lot more so since it is still legal in most places. Even where there are laws enforcement is next to impossible.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Elsebet » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:17 pm

I would be happy if the drivers in Washington state used their old-fashioned cruise control, let alone ACC. I pass people every day while locked at 75mph only to have them speed up and undo my pass; when I get back behind them they slow down again, rinse and repeat. It's maddening. I call it "passive aggressive warfare". Turn signal use is rare to the point I am surprised when others use theirs. People camp out in the left (passing) lane going 60mph creating rolling roadblocks.

Keep in mind that my commute is maybe 10 miles one way, ~15 minutes total, and encompasses only 2 highway exits yet I see huge errors every single trip.

Most humans (including myself) are terrible at driving and it won't be soon enough to have self-driving cars in my opinion. These features are great starts.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by researcher » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:22 pm

TravelGeek wrote:Our new 2016 Forester had adaptive cruise control. Love it. It saves me a lot of breaking, then re-enabling cruise control when I follow vehicles that don't drive constant speed. I am still monitoring what is going on and can intervene, but it takes over routine boring tasks.
This has been an interesting insight into people's driving habits.

It appears most of those posting here use cruise control for routine driving situations that I would never consider using.

For me, cruise control is used for long distance highway driving of trips longer than 1-2 hours. It's just not something I would use during my commute to work, in heavy traffic, ect.

I can't think of a time when I wanted to use cruise control to "follow vehicles that don't drive constant speed."

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:39 pm

I used cruise control all the time when I lived in Southern California. It kept me from getting impatient and speeding and tailgating. But it required a some tapping on the brakes when I came up behind traffic.

If I still lived there, I'd probably buy a new car just to get ACC. ACC is pure gold for a freeway commuter. I never had an accident on the freeway, but plenty of the ones I passed were caused by someone rear ending someone else in slinky traffic. I'm all for a technical solution that would cut down on that.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by researcher » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:55 pm

quantAndHold wrote:I used cruise control all the time when I lived in Southern California. It kept me from getting impatient and speeding and tailgating. ACC is pure gold for a freeway commuter. I never had an accident on the freeway, but plenty of the ones I passed were caused by someone rear ending someone else in slinky traffic.
So for you, cruise control was a way to compensate for poor driving discipline ("speeding and tailgating").

And the "adaptive" part of ACC is essentially used as an Automatic Emergency Braking system, which is offered/marketed separately in many cars.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by harikaried » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:01 pm

researcher wrote:Why would I want my driving/speed dictated by whomever happens to be in front of me? For example...
Here's some more likely examples:

You're cruising along at 70mph and someone slowly entered the lane several cars ahead resulting in everyone slowing down to 65mph before the entering car speeds up. Not much of a difference in speed, but you'll need to actively let off the gas and assess the situation to brake or not to not get too close to the car ahead. With ACC, you don't really care as the car will automatically slow down and speed back up to 70mph.

You were cruising along at 70mph, but the section of the highway has merges/exits, so traffic flow is usually 60mph in all lanes. With ACC, the car will slow down to keep its distance and speed back up after passing the slow section. Again this happens with no effort from the driver as opposed to getting annoyed by the traffic caused by other drivers.

And just because the car was on ACC doesn't mean you can't cancel it to pass the car ahead.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by JDot » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:02 pm

The subaru eyesight system is a step or so ahead of the competition. It's pretty remarkable. I believe all cars (trucks and suvs are coming later) will have similar system by the year 2022. I heard this announced recently. I believe car manufacturers agreed to it.

The last interstate trip I did- Charlotte to Wytheville, VA- I literally did not use the accelerator or brake until the last 10 miles of the trip in my subaru forester. It was around 11 a.m. or so when we departed. I was going *roughly* the speed limit the entire time. You really have to experience the adaptive cruise control to believe its usefulness.
Last edited by JDot on Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by rob » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:04 pm

I find all this sad and agree it's just enabling poor driving behavior. Distracted driving is now the norm. Phones have accelerometers - Disable the damn things when at speed - no calls, no text, no internet access, no apps - I'll give ya music playing via bluetooth. Catching the train/bus you say... great - solves two issues at once I say :D

Then maybe we can work on requiring REAL road test each few years and failing people that clearly cannot drive.
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by JDot » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:12 pm

rob wrote:I find all this sad and agree it's just enabling poor driving behavior. Distracted driving is now the norm. Phones have accelerometers - Disable the damn things when at speed - no calls, no text, no internet access, no apps - I'll give ya music playing via bluetooth. Catching the train/bus you say... great - solves two issues at once I say :D

Then maybe we can work on requiring REAL road test each few years and failing people that clearly cannot drive.

I see your point. I really do. I've actually found that it makes me a safer driver though. A human being can only keep track of so much at once. I find that the adaptive cruise control makes me a safer driver by taking on some of the burden. I don't find myself on "auto-pilot" though. I can see where you would disagree if you have never used it.

Heck, you might disagree after you use it. But I would urge you to be open to it.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by JDot » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:15 pm

researcher wrote:
quantAndHold wrote:I used cruise control all the time when I lived in Southern California. It kept me from getting impatient and speeding and tailgating. ACC is pure gold for a freeway commuter. I never had an accident on the freeway, but plenty of the ones I passed were caused by someone rear ending someone else in slinky traffic.
So for you, cruise control was a way to compensate for poor driving discipline ("speeding and tailgating").

And the "adaptive" part of ACC is essentially used as an Automatic Emergency Braking system, which is offered/marketed separately in many cars.

Subaru's system has an emergency braking system. (some people could probably drive the car for years without it engaging) The adaptive cruise control is very different, although it obviously uses the same cameras, etc. It has 3 different "sensitivity" or "following" distances. It does a really nice job. It gently slows you. (unless you literally have it set for 70 and you come upon a car going 30) But under normal use, it's very smooth.

You just really have to use it and it might change your mind. Of course, it might not. Cheers!

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Watty » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:23 pm

One downside to some of the safety features is that when you are driving a car you are not used to it may be difficult to figure out how to use them correctly.

I'm driving a rental car while my Honda is waiting for the parts for the airbag recall, it doesn't have all the new safety features but it took me a day or so just to figure out what most, but not all, of the buttons do.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:26 pm

researcher wrote:
TravelGeek wrote:Our new 2016 Forester had adaptive cruise control. Love it. It saves me a lot of breaking, then re-enabling cruise control when I follow vehicles that don't drive constant speed. I am still monitoring what is going on and can intervene, but it takes over routine boring tasks.
This has been an interesting insight into people's driving habits.

It appears most of those posting here use cruise control for routine driving situations that I would never consider using.

For me, cruise control is used for long distance highway driving of trips longer than 1-2 hours. It's just not something I would use during my commute to work, in heavy traffic, ect.

I can't think of a time when I wanted to use cruise control to "follow vehicles that don't drive constant speed."
My commute is 47 steps. I work from home. I don't use any cruise control for that :)

There are no multi-lane freeways where I live. Passing someone is not generally the answer to someone driving slower than me.

Why would I not use cruise control on a 20 mile drive on straight two lane road with moderate traffic that generally goes at or slightly above the speed limit, but sometimes slows down due to someone entering or exiting?

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:38 pm

My wife bought this same vehicle a few months ago. I haven't driven it much yet and have been a passenger even less, but here are my initial impressions:
4nursebee wrote:Forgive my new found fanaticism.

Years ago I learned about some available safety features from following the Tesla car company. While out of my price league I tried to learn more about them. I considered a new car a year or two ago, drove a Honda but the front camera or radar fell off. About a month ago we bought a 2016 Subaru Outback with the Eyesight system, here is our experience.

Lane departure warning is always on. We enjoy taking in the sights as we drive and have worried that going off the road would be how we died. Not so any more with this gently beeping warning. I must be a bad driver cause it sure goes off a lot.

This is a real annoyance to me. At least you can prevent it from beeping while changing lanes by using the turn signal, but I don't care for being forced to do that.

Lane Keep Assist- optional to turn it on or off, a little unnerving. Basically when one starts to go over the line it gently steers you back in the lane. Not autopilot, but a great feature for those driven to distraction.

My wife must not have this feature turned on as I have not noticed it at all.

Back up camera: no kids here but we understand the issues, great stuff.

I love this!

Rear object warning (or something like that): Great for backing up our of blind parking.

Also a winner!

Blind spot warning: For this car one has to condition themselves to see the lights flashing in the mirror prior to changing lanes. I think it alarms audibly if one tries to move into another car.

A nice feature but could use some tweaking. I set my outside mirrors as to minimize or eliminate blind spots. As a result, the warning light does not detect a blind spot or near-blind spot accurately for me. It is much more useful for my wife who does not adjust her outside mirrors "correctly." I haven't heard a peep from it.

Adaptive cruise control: OMG! 2K miles already and this is good stuff, especially in slower highway traffic. One is able to adjust how closely to follow a car. It will slow to a stop and the resume with just a touch of the gas.

I have not had a chance to use cruise control yet, so I am looking forward to this.

From a stop, the car also alarms when the car in front of you has moved and you do not start up.

I wasn't even aware of this feature.

I think there is some kind of auto braking to keep you from crashing into objects, we did not test this out yet....

I have reservations about this one. It is undoubtedly a great feature. I have not experienced it yet, but my wife tells me that she has. From my observations, I am concerned that its very existence has encouraged my wife to tailgate other cars since she knows it is there to "protect" her.

OVERALL, working in a hospital and seeing the number of car crashes that could be avoided with such features, we AGREE with consumer reports that all such features out to be mandatory. If you are considering a new car purchase, please consider self insuring and spend up to buy such features, the life you save might be your own.

I also envision a future without accidents and grid tied cars. It will be a sad day for all those that satisfy ego with autos.
One other feature I like is that when the headlights are on and you are turning, even in a gentle curve, a light comes on just to the side of your headlight to shine onto the area you are turning into.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Atgard » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:43 pm

There are a lot of not great drivers out there. There are a lot of drivers who are too distracted texting, etc. There are technologies that can reduce the frequency and severity of collisions caused by the above. That is a good thing.

If you have them, you are not required to use them. Don't like ACC? Don't use it. Don't like it most of the time, but maybe you end up in annoying slow-go-stop-go faster-slow down-now fast again-are they stopping JEEZ? traffic in Los Angeles one day after a long workday, and maybe you want to use it that day. I think a lot of the misunderstanding here is people driving in rural areas with little traffic saying "just go around the guy!" vs. people commuting in L.A. knowing that is futile with the amount of traffic. Also remember you have not irrevocably committed, if you're paying attention like you say then as soon as you don't like something ACC does, just tap the gas or brakes and disengage the system and go around the guy.

Also having audible warnings when drifting from lanes or coming up quickly on a slowing vehicle ahead seem much more likely to be helpful (possibly saving lives) than a big problem (a mildly annoying beeping sound).

I also love to drive a manual transmission performance car and am not personally looking forward to all cars being on auto-pilot. But 40,000 people a year are killed by traffic collisions, and if auto-driving cars can significantly reduce that number and give people who want it the option to just text instead of drive (instead of doing both badly), then I'm all for it.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by rob » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:46 pm

JDot wrote:Heck, you might disagree after you use it. But I would urge you to be open to it.
I rent a lot of new cars as part of the job and love tech & cars, so I play with all this stuff fairly often. Have not tried the Subi ACC version but have a number of others.

For whatever reason I hate a lot of this stuff (I still am not a fan of automatics, so take the rest with that in mind :-) ). I really think removing the driver from the act of driving is dangerous - and a lot of these "features" are in that bucket.

Some examples
- The backup camera is a wide angle lens that does not match my field of view, so I find it disorientating because I still turn my head to see behind and the corner of my eye sees a different view.
- The lane departure stuff catches my eyes and driving in the city I find them basically blinking on and off all the time so they add little value - and a lot of false distractions to me.
- Night driving with that LED screen in the middle of the dash is poor as it's far too bright even on the lowest settings (on longer trips, I've taken to cardboard and duct tape).
- The dashes of cars have 500 things shown... do I really really need to see a large picture of the 4 wheels with the inflation pressure if they are normal?
- As for having the car tug at the steering.... I suspect you can guess my thoughts :oops:

I'm not a Luddite here... I think Auto emergency braking, ESC, ABS (to some extent), airbags etc. are a great things. I would like to see heads up displays on more cars (but not the Christmas tree affect that is so popular... just the speed and warning stuff).

I think that auto parking feature should be a requirement on some peoples license but that's a different topic :shock:
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by JDot » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:48 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:My wife bought this same vehicle a few months ago. I haven't driven it much yet and have been a passenger even less, but here are my initial impressions:
4nursebee wrote:Forgive my new found fanaticism.

Years ago I learned about some available safety features from following the Tesla car company. While out of my price league I tried to learn more about them. I considered a new car a year or two ago, drove a Honda but the front camera or radar fell off. About a month ago we bought a 2016 Subaru Outback with the Eyesight system, here is our experience.

Lane departure warning is always on. We enjoy taking in the sights as we drive and have worried that going off the road would be how we died. Not so any more with this gently beeping warning. I must be a bad driver cause it sure goes off a lot.

This is a real annoyance to me. At least you can prevent it from beeping while changing lanes by using the turn signal, but I don't care for being forced to do that.

Lane Keep Assist- optional to turn it on or off, a little unnerving. Basically when one starts to go over the line it gently steers you back in the lane. Not autopilot, but a great feature for those driven to distraction.

My wife must not have this feature turned on as I have not noticed it at all.

Back up camera: no kids here but we understand the issues, great stuff.

I love this!

Rear object warning (or something like that): Great for backing up our of blind parking.

Also a winner!

Blind spot warning: For this car one has to condition themselves to see the lights flashing in the mirror prior to changing lanes. I think it alarms audibly if one tries to move into another car.

A nice feature but could use some tweaking. I set my outside mirrors as to minimize or eliminate blind spots. As a result, the warning light does not detect a blind spot or near-blind spot accurately for me. It is much more useful for my wife who does not adjust her outside mirrors "correctly." I haven't heard a peep from it.

Adaptive cruise control: OMG! 2K miles already and this is good stuff, especially in slower highway traffic. One is able to adjust how closely to follow a car. It will slow to a stop and the resume with just a touch of the gas.

I have not had a chance to use cruise control yet, so I am looking forward to this.

From a stop, the car also alarms when the car in front of you has moved and you do not start up.

I wasn't even aware of this feature.

I think there is some kind of auto braking to keep you from crashing into objects, we did not test this out yet....

I have reservations about this one. It is undoubtedly a great feature. I have not experienced it yet, but my wife tells me that she has. From my observations, I am concerned that its very existence has encouraged my wife to tailgate other cars since she knows it is there to "protect" her.

OVERALL, working in a hospital and seeing the number of car crashes that could be avoided with such features, we AGREE with consumer reports that all such features out to be mandatory. If you are considering a new car purchase, please consider self insuring and spend up to buy such features, the life you save might be your own.

I also envision a future without accidents and grid tied cars. It will be a sad day for all those that satisfy ego with autos.
One other feature I like is that when the headlights are on and you are turning, even in a gentle curve, a light comes on just to the side of your headlight to shine onto the area you are turning into.

Regarding your last concern about the tail/emergency breaking. You have to be VERY aggressive to get this to activate automatically. The exception being if a car (or ped) is crossing the road in a fashion perpendicular to you. The cameras basically sees nothing in front of you- then they suddenly see it so it's like it was dropped there out of thin air and is essentially not moving relative to you. I hope that description makes sense.

It's also worth noting that the cameras give priority to certain colors. For instance, brake lights. Because it uses cameras and not a radar like system, this is possible. It's really an amazing job that they have done.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by randomguy » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:54 pm

rob wrote:I find all this sad and agree it's just enabling poor driving behavior. Distracted driving is now the norm. Phones have accelerometers - Disable the damn things when at speed - no calls, no text, no internet access, no apps - I'll give ya music playing via bluetooth. Catching the train/bus you say... great - solves two issues at once I say :D

Then maybe we can work on requiring REAL road test each few years and failing people that clearly cannot drive.
We have had poor driving for like 50+ years It isn't like the rear end collision started with the smart phone. Distracted driving has been endemic since the start of driving. We just blame different things. In the old days it was listening to music (why are you paying attention to what is going on instead of music) , smoking (i.e. get your fix caused distractions) and eating/drinking. Now it is smart phones.

I like how people are complaining that the system forces them to be good drivers (i.e. use turn signals). Granted if the cops would just start ticketing them we could have safer roads and lower property taxes:)

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:16 pm

randomguy wrote:
We have had poor driving for like 50+ years It isn't like the rear end collision started with the smart phone. Distracted driving has been endemic since the start of driving. We just blame different things. In the old days it was listening to music (why are you paying attention to what is going on instead of music) , smoking (i.e. get your fix caused distractions) and eating/drinking. Now it is smart phones.
The only accident I ever caused was because I fiddled with the radio instead of paying attention to the traffic in front of me. Long time ago, before cell phones offered better ways to get distracted. Fortunately it was at relatively slow speed and I only hit a car in front of me, not a pedestrian or bicyclist. I'd like to think I learned my lesson. But who knows. Pretty sure my Subaru's collision warning/auto breaking would have prevented it, but I don't necessary intend to test this in practice (I do like the idea of experimenting with cardboard boxes that someone mentioned upstream, though, to get a feel for how the auto-breaking behaves).

I do wish the two drivers who rear-ended me since then had driven a vehicle with this feature.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Fieldsy1024 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:27 pm

lol, all these features are crazy. How about being a good driver and pay attention?

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by randomguy » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:48 pm

Fieldsy1024 wrote:lol, all these features are crazy. How about being a good driver and pay attention?
Again how well has that strategy worked over the past 30+ years?:) It is like pushing abstinence is at preventing teenage pregnancy. The theory is great. Reality is a bit different.:)

Obviously you want to be doing everything. You want a better driver and a better car to minimize the amount of accidents. It is pretty clear on how to make the car better. Making the human better is a lot harder.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by siamond » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:03 pm

I also recently bought a new Subaru (2016 model) and went with the eyesight system for the sole reason that this was the only car available with the color I wanted, and not loaded with a bunch of other accessories I didn't want. Needless to say, I wasn't happy to pay for what I considered 'useless gadgets'.

Then I discovered Adaptive Cruise Control during a 3-weeks road trip. It would never cross my mind to use it in town (then I want to be in full control), but on the road, this is absolutely great. Classic cruise control more or less assumes that you're alone on the road (or at least the lane), well, this is rarely the case. Having the car gently adapt is really terrific. Yeah, maybe sometimes I would have let the car slowly lose speed a bit more progressively when somebody in front of me slows down, but this is just a detail, overall, this is finally truly effective cruise control instead of a coarse draft of it...

It took a bit longer for me to warm up to the other features, but I now appreciate them all. The one that remains a tad annoying is the lane departure warning. I wish this one could be disabled, there are multiple situations where it's perfectly ok to eat a bit on the line (e.g. small twisty roads, etc). Still I can see that one day, on a long trip where I get tired, it could save my bacon.

Overall, I think one has to be able to use such features for a while before truly getting the point. I know I didn't get it when I bought my car, and I was wrong.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by countofmc » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:16 pm

I have a few thoughts about this new technology:

One is technology that assists the driver vs technology that can actually take control of the vehicle. So the former would be lane departure warning (without the steering guidance that pulls you back) or a backup camera. Latter would be auto-braking upon an impending wreck, adaptive cruise, or lane departure assist (where the car guides you back into the lane). I don't see too much drawback to the former type of technologies, but I am a bit uneasy about potential tech bugs with the latter. Maybe car auto-braking when it shouldn't and causing someone to rear-end me, or lane departure assist being overaggressive and making me lose control of the vehicle. I still think all these technologies are a huge net-gain, as they will probably save a lot more lives than potentially would be lost by some low chance of the technology malfunctioning. But just a personal point of unease.

Another issue I have is potential over-reliance on the technology, causing drives to do stupid things or pay less attention, and thus causing more accidents.

I think overall, like I said, probably a huge net-gain. But key is driver utilizes these aids correctly.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:45 pm

siamond wrote: The one that remains a tad annoying is the lane departure warning. I wish this one could be disabled, there are multiple situations where it's perfectly ok to eat a bit on the line (e.g. small twisty roads, etc). Still I can see that one day, on a long trip where I get tired, it could save my bacon.
Not sure about your model, but on my Forester (2016) I can disable it, and I have done that exactly for the case you describe: narrow twisty mountain roads where I am fully focussed (don't need assistance) and "optimize" the turns a bit :)

Can't turn it off permanently, though, I think (I haven't looked for that in the manual, though, because it isn't what I want anyway). Turning the car off and back on re-enables it.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by dratkinson » Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:57 pm

Was hoping this topic was about kids and soapbox car/derby racers.


A Subaru is on my short list of next vehicles (Ford Escape currently winning due to surprisingly more headroom than Subaru:~5") so interested in reading about the safety feature in the above-base models.

For current Subaru owners, what is your experience with drivability/reliability of the CVT? I'd like to stop rowing in stop-n-go traffic, but don't want another automatic transmission---already paid to repair more than my fair share. (Hoping to beat reliability of current manual---2 fluid changes and same clutch at 200K+ miles.)

Recent CVT topic: https://diehards.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=156859
Last edited by dratkinson on Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:00 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
siamond wrote: The one that remains a tad annoying is the lane departure warning. I wish this one could be disabled, there are multiple situations where it's perfectly ok to eat a bit on the line (e.g. small twisty roads, etc). Still I can see that one day, on a long trip where I get tired, it could save my bacon.
Not sure about your model, but on my Forester (2016) I can disable it, and I have done that exactly for the case you describe: narrow twisty mountain roads where I am fully focussed (don't need assistance) and "optimize" the turns a bit :)

Can't turn it off permanently, though, I think (I haven't looked for that in the manual, though, because it isn't what I want anyway). Turning the car off and back on re-enables it.
Thank you for that info! I will now have to dig through the manual of my wife's Outback to learn if it can be done on her car!

It will feel great to be able to resume not being a "good driver" 8-)

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by siamond » Thu Apr 14, 2016 6:33 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
siamond wrote: The one that remains a tad annoying is the lane departure warning. I wish this one could be disabled, there are multiple situations where it's perfectly ok to eat a bit on the line (e.g. small twisty roads, etc). Still I can see that one day, on a long trip where I get tired, it could save my bacon.
Not sure about your model, but on my Forester (2016) I can disable it, and I have done that exactly for the case you describe: narrow twisty mountain roads where I am fully focussed (don't need assistance) and "optimize" the turns a bit :)

Can't turn it off permanently, though, I think (I haven't looked for that in the manual, though, because it isn't what I want anyway). Turning the car off and back on re-enables it.
Yes, you're right, I wasn't precise enough. We can only disable it on a per-trip basis, which is annoying. I'd rather enable it on a per trip basis (e.g. only for long trips), or maybe have it enabled only when cruise control is on, or something like that. Anyhoo, this is just a minor annoyance, I'll probably get used to it. The rest of the features are greatly appreciated.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Keim » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:14 pm

I'm a car guy. Love to drive. Have a restored classic I work on. Yada yada yada...

Only one of the OPs listed features I'd want to see mandatory-or want on my car-is the back-up camera.

If a person can't be attentive enough to handle the other items, they shouldn't be in the drivers seat.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by theunknowntech » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:29 pm

Keim wrote:I'm a car guy. Love to drive. Have a restored classic I work on. Yada yada yada...

Only one of the OPs listed features I'd want to see mandatory-or want on my car-is the back-up camera.

If a person can't be attentive enough to handle the other items, they shouldn't be in the drivers seat.
Unfortunately, they are. That's why I love these features. Other drivers scare me.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by Keim » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:55 pm

theunknowntech wrote:
Keim wrote:I'm a car guy. Love to drive. Have a restored classic I work on. Yada yada yada...

Only one of the OPs listed features I'd want to see mandatory-or want on my car-is the back-up camera.

If a person can't be attentive enough to handle the other items, they shouldn't be in the drivers seat.
Unfortunately, they are. That's why I love these features. Other drivers scare me.
Other drivers scare me too! They should be able to have the features they want. I shouldn't be forced to pay for the features on my car due to gov't making them mandatory.

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Re: Soapbox (car safety features)

Post by btenny » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:27 pm

Well guys the Subaru Eyesight system has one very serious flaw that has not been discussed much. It does not work well in fog or rain or sand storms very well according to what I read. It is a fully visual system and it has been reported that it does not "see through stuff" like the radar based systems. So it does not work in bad road conditions where and when you need it most.

And when I shopped for the system in 2013 you could not buy a Subaru car with the Eyesight system that did not have the auto steering stuff like lane departure and so on. So I passed as I did not want to be beta tester for these new systems. Plus it cost $3K extra in those days which was way too much IMO.

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