Subaru EyeSight and Driver Recognition System

What a lovely day to drive Forester. Well, all days are lovely, if you have chance to drive Forester. Even during heavy rains it feels like driving a train. Not only because drive and comfort is so confident but also because Subaru is packed with the latest safety technology.

In fact Subaru Forester e-Boxer got from EuroNCAP (2019) 130,8 points. With that result it was a clear winner in compact SUV category. Second best was Tesla model X with 124,7 points.

Driver Recognition System affects to the comfort. It adjusts seats, side mirrors and air conditioning according to your preferences. Or it should at least.

For me this works maybe five times out of ten. I am the only one who drives Forester in our family. So it is not that big issue if it does not work reliable. Seat position remains same all the time anyways.

If I would need to share the car with my wife, then we would rely memory positions assigned to buttons on driver’s door and using own key fobs.

My wife drives Toyota Auris hybrid. She thinks it is a better car than Forester. As long she keeps thinking so, there is no fear for me, that I need to share Forester with my wife.

Why the Driver Recognition System does not work always?

System expects driver to enter car and look forward. This way it is more reliable and this is how it requires user to register driver. Process differs quite much from Apple’s FaceId as it requires user to look many different directions during the process.

However in practice when I enter in the car, I start to look iPhone cable to plug phone in. In this phase my face is looking down obviously. And if I am not quick enough, the scanning process will fail.

This is something that I am not easily willing to change in my own behavior. There is two reasons. It is safer to operate phone when car is stationary. Actually it is not allowed to operate phone when car is moving.

So if I focus to Driver Recognition, instead of getting phone ready, I might forgot to do that. Which would lead to need operate phone later when I am driving the car already.

Secondly it is not that important if it does not recognize me correctly. As mentioned I am the only driver, so it will use previous settings anyways.

Then the other thing is that if you do any adjustments to the seat position, mirrors or even to the settings of heating or air conditioning while driving the car. You will need to remember to save these settings manually.

Otherwise car will restore previous settings, once it detects you correctly. Not that big deal since you are not constantly changing these settings. But you cannot save these during driving the car. This is because you need to access right menu, which is available only when car is parked.

Does not sound complicated but I usually tend forget to save settings when I have parked the car.

Saving new settings

Here is the quick guide to save new settings for the Driver Monitoring System.

  • Make sure “P” gear is selected
  • Cycle “Info” button on steering wheel once you see menu to access to the settings
  • Hold “Info” button for a while to access menu
  • Select Driver Monitoring System
  • Cycle few screens to find “Update Driver Monitoring Settings”
  • Select that

Auto Vehicle Hold

Auto Vehicle Hold (AVH) is not related directly to the topic but you may consider this as an bonus tip.

I was having some city driving today and suddenly remembered to try AVH function. Never really used that before. Maybe tried once or twice but never did not pay attention how it works in practice.

I stopped to the traffic lights and decided to press button. Thinking that it engaged the AVH feature.

Probably I did actually engage it but car moved forward still even I released brake pedal. Why did that happen? Most likely because it requires certain pressure for the brake pedal before AVH actually engages.

I guess that I kept car stopped just barely when using brake. So AVH never engaged actually.

On next traffic light I noticed that system can be enabled or disabled on the fly. There is green AVH light next to the speed gauge. And when you actually stop and press brake enough, light will be supplemented with additional brake symbol.

Nice feature if you do not want to keep brake pressed all the time. E.g. in steep hills. In normal driving situations feature is not maybe that beneficial. If the car in front of you moves, and you need (or want) to move Forester little bit too, you need press accelerate pedal bit. Without AVH you just release brake bit to get car moving.

When returning to home, I decided to reverse to the garage. Our home is on steep hill. At least Forester shows 9 grade hill. At that point I didn’t remember anymore that I had AVH enabled still.

I selected Reverse gear and started reversing. Car actually “jumped” bit. Luckily nothing bad happened but certainly something that I need to be aware of. Maybe try that again some day and figure out did I press accelerator too much or what happened.

PS. I do not have any experience of driving a train. I was just thinking that it would be something like that. (comment related to the beginning of this text)

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