The feature finally is heading overseas. It has been offered in Japan since May 2010. Subaru won't say in what U.S. model it will debut or when it arrives. But the technology makes its first international appearance later this year in the Legacy and Outback for Australia.
Here's how it works:
Two cameras, one on each side of the rearview mirror, constantly monitor the road ahead. When they detect a potentially troublesome shape from EyeSight's computer database -- another car, a bicycle, motorbike or pedestrian -- the system switches into action.
If the vehicle is going under 19 mph and the driver takes no action to slow it, the brakes kick in automatically to stop the vehicle before impact -- under ideal road conditions, that is.
The system doesn't account for increased stopping distance owing to rain or snow.
Still, pre-crash braking is just one of the safety features of the EyeSight system. Others:
-- Pre-crash braking at speeds over 19 mph to minimize impact damage.
-- Adaptive cruise control to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.
-- Lane departure warning to combat erratic driving.
-- Progressive start control to prevent lunging when "drive" is selected instead of "reverse."
-- Vehicle sway warning to guard against sleeping at the wheel.
Subaru says more than half the Legacy and Outback customers in Japan spring for the option. But peace of mind comes at a price. In Japan, EyeSight costs an extra ¥100,000, or about $1,250.