Subaru Legacy and Outback both received “superior” ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in its first ratings of automatic braking systems. During the tests, both Legacy and Outback detected a dummy car on the road and managed to decelerate from 25 mph to a stop in time to avoid slamming into it.
This was all thanks to Subaru’s EyeSight system, a package of cameras and software that scans the road ahead for possible obstruction. The Legacy and Outback were among the vehicles tested that managed a full stop.
Five other models -- the Cadillac ATS and SRX, Volvo S60 and XC60, and Mercedes-Benz C class – also received "superior" rating from the IIHS as they managed to slow down sufficiently after sensing the dummy car.
The new ratings focused on automatic braking systems, underlining the growing trend that road safety is not just about airbags and body materials, but also about software and sensors, into which carmakers are investing heavily.
The new ratings will also be factored into the institute’s Top Safety Pick+ rankings for 2014, the first time for the IIHS to use any test besides crashes to pick what will get into the index. Definitely, the seven vehicles that got “superior” ratings in the new tests will have the upper hand to be included in the rankings.
“You're going to see more of this from us," remarked David Zuby, chief research officer at the IIHS, adding that crash prevention technology is already existing and is both promising and confusing. He said that the IIHS will try to “untangle the confusion” and encourage carmakers to adopt what is working.