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I tested my new Forester's safety systems - a few questions:
1. Under what circumstances do you get the steering wheel to give you lane keeping assist feature? I was not able to get it while switching lanes without my signal bring on or slowly pretending to veer slightly off my lane.
2. I tried to check the collision mitigation break system by putting a garbage can on our street in front of me and driving toward it (slowly) - even driving at 10 mph the breaks came on but not in time to keep me from hitting the trash can - is this normal? Can it be calibrated to warn me and start breaking earlier?
3. I tried checking the automatic back up breaking by placing two sizes of trash cans behind me to see if it would break - the car did not detect or break for a 2 foot trash can (child's height), and collided with the can; it only detected the large 4 foot trash can and applied the breaks.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring EyeSight
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you'll need to make clear what model year and trim line you have, for a precise answer. I think these systems have undergone constant evolution since their introduction. my '17 Touring's EyeSight system lane assist I've never found very helpful; it just seems to make the steering feel funny, kind of like a loss of traction from ice/snow. I use it but actively continue to drive correctly myself, ignoring it. EyeSight emergency braking is not intended to be able to completely stop the car from too high of a speed, but it DOES mitigate collision damage / injury when you hit something at any speed. My Reverse auto-brake works pretty jarringly and abruptly, and is a real nuisance when we have a hitch-mounted bicycle rack in place, until the system realizes things are messed up and automatically shuts itself off. Did you really accomplish full tests of letting the systems act, without "flinching"?
 

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I tested my new Forester's safety systems - a few questions:
1. Under what circumstances do you get the steering wheel to give you lane keeping assist feature? I was not able to get it while switching lanes without my signal bring on or slowly pretending to veer slightly off my lane.
2. I tried to check the collision mitigation break system by putting a garbage can on our street in front of me and driving toward it (slowly) - even driving at 10 mph the breaks came on but not in time to keep me from hitting the trash can - is this normal? Can it be calibrated to warn me and start breaking earlier?
3. I tried checking the automatic back up breaking by placing two sizes of trash cans behind me to see if it would break - the car did not detect or break for a 2 foot trash can (child's height), and collided with the can; it only detected the large 4 foot trash can and applied the breaks.
For #1, the LKA has to be able to "see" the lines for it to work. If it can't (you don't get solid lines on either side of the car image), it won't do anything. BTW, it's more a nudge in my experience.

#3 the RAB, it intervenes when you least expect it and gives you a fright, don't worry, you'll experience this soon1
 

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2021 Forester Sport
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I have a 2021 Sport, and just drove 1,000 miles or so, and many of those miles, the car drove itself. The cruise control had to be on, and at least the default setting has it reduce speed far too early when approaching a car ahead in the same lane. On the other hand, the relative closure rate works well, when one swings out into the next lane to get in a gap in traffic in the adjacent lane, and the car almost instantly recognizes, even when pulling in closely behind a passing car, that the car now ahead is pulling away, and the Subaru immediately starts to accelerate back to the set speed of the cruise control.
I note the lane keeping feature works well until there is a tighter curve than some threshhold, and it cut out a couple of times mid-turn (not really a problem) and one time, it would not come out of the turn, causing a bit of a pucker factor, to quickly override the steering.
I also note, the system is equipped with a limited sensor setup in the steering wheel, requiring hands to be maintained uncomfortably high, on the bumps at “10” and “2”, rather than how I was taught in driving school, to have them at “8” and “4”. In this position, there is a kind of dead-man switch, where every 15 seconds (I timed it), the message pops up “Keep hands on the wheel”. While this was a bit annoying, I found a quick twitch, just barely more than taking out the lashup in the steering wheel, was enough to make the message go away, and reset the clock for another 15 seconds. I also noted, that using the momentary turn signal, allowed one to manually steer to change lanes, and then reset the minder clock for about 45 seconds, before returning to the 15 second interval.

Are there any settings available for this, to alter the timing, or change the sensitivity to hands being on the wheel, just not on the two bumps ?

I also found, during a brief, and intense squall, the Eye Sight cut off, until the rain passed. I was impressed, that the Eye Sight did not appear to be upset by the wipers alone.
 

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I have always driven with my hands @ 9-3. I have more control over the wheel with my hands in that position, better leverage and can rotate it further before needing to adjust my hands from those points. My wife's car like many these days with sport/racing inspired designs are designed to be held comfortably in the 9-3 position. Your Forester even has ergonomic curves for your thumbs to rest above the spokes. .....just below those "bumps" you mention.

10-4 is outdated and what was taught to me in my days although it wasn't how I chose to drive. Years later with airbags becoming commonplace, that changed to 9-3 or in some cases I guess 8-4.

In either case, I'm unaware of any sensor in the steering wheel so it shouldn't matter where you grip it. Rather (from my understanding), it senses whether firm control over the wheel or not. Again, the lane keep feature was never meant to drive the car for you but simply to give you a gentle nudge if you stray. .....a nudge that is easily overridden by keeping firm control of the wheel.

I hold my wife's wheel in the 9-3 like all of my cars and when I have tried to use the lane centering feature, I never had it beep at me unless I had too light of a touch on the wheel. ....light enough that the car could guide itself instead of pushing against my own tension.

Maybe at 8-4 you just don't have as firm of control as you do at 10-4? Why not try 9-3 vs. choking up so high on the wheel @ 10-4?
 

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it would not come out of the turn, causing a bit of a pucker factor, to quickly override the steering.
Lane keeping is there as a back up to catch driver error, not the driver to be the backup for it. It isn't a chauffeur.

to have them at “8” and “4”.
Back in the horse and buggy days when I taught myself to drive most adopted the 10 to 2 position, however, apparently 9 to 3 is now considered better and as Kean has posted most steering wheels have an indent for the thump at those positions though gripping the wheel with thumbs is a bad idea as airbags have been known to fracture them as they deploy (I wonder if 8 to 4 is a response to that?).
 

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I turned off most of the assist features because where I lived/live there are hardly any straight roads and the signs are fading...
 

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My 2019 Touring has no such sensors incorporated into the steering wheel.
 
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Back in the horse and buggy days when I taught myself to drive most adopted the 10 to 2 position, however, apparently 9 to 3 is now considered better and as Kean has posted most steering wheels have an indent for the thump at those positions though gripping the wheel with thumbs is a bad idea as airbags have been known to fracture them as they deploy (I wonder if 8 to 4 is a response to that?).
I think our NHTSA here in the U.S. recommends anything between 8 and 9 for your left hand with 3 and 4 for your right although insurance companies commonly quote 9 and 3. .....it is also a more popular recommendation these days in general IME.

Haven't heard of the airbag thing with the thumbs but I do know thumbs and hands in general can get injured in accidents. Even more minor scenarios like a curb strike, bad ruts, etc. when folks have had their thumbs hooked inside the wheel. That's why off-roaders commonly recommend keeping your thumbs on the outside of the wheel so if you do hit a rock, rut, groove, etc. and your steering wheel gets forced to one side or the other your thumbs aren't in the way of the spokes.

Many steering wheels have adopted that racing-inspired design which I think is great btw as it is generally the most comfortable for me, but they can have design variations with the thumb recesses and so on that may make you want to grip each a little differently. Most times I use the recesses for my thumb if they are there but I don't necessarily hook my thumb around. .....but I will use the 9 and 3 position in either case as it's just second nature to me.
 

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My 2019 Touring has no such sensors incorporated into the steering wheel.
You sure about that? My 2019 Touring puts up the 'keep hands on wheel' message after 15 seconds. Touching the steering wheel resets if for another 15 seconds again, as previously mentioned. I'm not sure if it's actually capacitively sensing my touch, or if it's just the micro movement of the steering wheel that tells it I'm holding the wheel.
 

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You sure about that? My 2019 Touring puts up the 'keep hands on wheel' message after 15 seconds. Touching the steering wheel resets if for another 15 seconds again, as previously mentioned. I'm not sure if it's actually capacitively sensing my touch, or if it's just the micro movement of the steering wheel that tells it I'm holding the wheel.
I believe it is far more likely that LKA relies on inputs it gets from the steering angle/torque sensor than some kind of capacitive sensor in the steering wheel. .....simply due to the costs of adding special steering wheels to LKA equipped models and the simplicity of using what already exists.

I'm sure just having a good purchase on the wheel with your hand(s) is enough for the SAS to determine the driver has control by detecting resistance to minute changes in the road surface, etc. I'll wager the some are using a light touch as it seems they are using the system as more of a autonomous system rather than an aid to keep them in the lane. In that case the system will think that since there is not enough resistance, the driver may not have their hands on the wheel.

In @Joesmoe3 's case, he has it still activated while negotiating tighter turns and such. It should be noted the cruise control system, LKA, etc. were meant for highway use and even then, not all highways would be appropriate. .....and again, these are not autonomous systems either. It still requires the driver to keep control of the vehicle (including the steering wheel) at all times.
 

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You sure about that? My 2019 Touring puts up the 'keep hands on wheel' message after 15 seconds. Touching the steering wheel resets if for another 15 seconds again, as previously mentioned. I'm not sure if it's actually capacitively sensing my touch, or if it's just the micro movement of the steering wheel that tells it I'm holding the wheel.
@Joesmoe3 said “I also note, the system is equipped with a limited sensor setup in the steering wheel, requiring hands to be maintained uncomfortably high, on the bumps at “10” and “2”,”

My response was that my 19 Touring has no such sensors, which it doesn’t. That’s quite different from saying the wheel motion/attitude isn’t monitored by the steering sensor, which I never intended to imply.
 

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Having driven a few SK generation Foresters with Eyesight, I can give you first hand knowlege (pun intended) about the way the system recognizes you are "aware" and "alert".

I've driven with my hand on the top center of the horn area of the wheel - no alerts; I've driving with my hand at the bottom portion of the wheel - no alerts; I've driven with my hand top dead center of the wheel - no alerts.

I pretty much never drive with my hands at 10/2 or 9/3 and often have my hands at 4 and 8 or 5 and 7 or even 11 and 1. A lot depends on where I am and what kind of traffic I have around me. And this has been for most (all) of my driving life and miles.

So this is a "plus 1" for the system recognizing the minute pressure from your hands moving the wheel ever so slightly left or right in response to road imperfections and other needs for a slight steering input by you, the DRIVER.
 

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Thank you all for your application of intelligence, interest, and observations here. I should have said, "speculation of such...". And @Kean well-said, and you figured out that I meant "4 and 8" for hand positions. And I dare say it is too broad a statement to say "outmoded". This is most certainly still being taught to high school students in our million-plus population county.

I would also take issue with the qualification of "never" for "intended". The amount of engineering that has gone into the lane keeping feature far exceeds the minimum, and no car company wants to be left out in the cold when the insurance companies get around to offering substantial discounts for self-driving cars along with proof of it being used.

I drove another 800 miles in the last three days, much of it on interstate highways and divided four lanes. I'm more and more loving the adaptive cruise control, though it does have a quirk that has be disengaging it for this specific circumstance. Most of us, with two lines of cars, will find ourselves in the left lane, waiting for a slower car to pull over. Seeing that the other driver is doing this out of courtesy, and is him/herself running up on a still slower vehicle in the right lane, will want to quickly move back over to the left lane -- under this circumstance, most of us will want to start accelerating as soon as the driver ahead signals they are moving over. Unfortunately, the adaptive cruise control waits until the car ahead is almost completely out of the lane, before it thinks about accelerating, and even then, there seems to be a bit of a delay, before one sees the RPM increase. Twice today with this delay, the car/truck that had moved over for me, must have wondered why I didn't pass right away, and they just returned to the left lane at their before lesser speed than mine was set.

That said, the adaptive cruise control does an excellent job of keeping up in so-called accordion traffic, which I encountered only twice, thank fully. The cruise control maintains a comfortably close following distance, which is safe enough for the computer(s) to react to a slow down, and just close enough to discourage all but the most assertive drivers from trying to slip in the space. I was also really impressed as the adaptive cruise control worked at least down to six mph, even when the set point was 70 - the speed limit.

I drove ~400 miles today, mostly on I-80 and I-76, and almost all of it was with the EyeSight driving. Only on the sharpest curves in the mountains would it say OFF (aka, "You take it"), and almost always, even before the curve was finished, it would restart (aka, "O.k. I've got it").

There was only one section of highway in Wisconsin between Stevens Point and Oskosh - there was something "special" about the center lane markings, EyeSight just could not consistently sense those - and for that stretch, for all intents and purposes, there was no availability of the lane keeping.

For today's drive, I had my hands mostly at 4 and 8; occasionally one handed at the bottom of the wheel. With a slightly greater grip than I had on the drive up (can't be more than that for long periods, or I develop cramps), for road segments with curves, there was enough "input" to the wheel (or conversely, the wheel acting against the weight of my hands so gripped), the "hands on wheel" notice was seldom seen. On arrow straight segments, even the weight of my hands was insufficient to forestall the 15 second reminder -- and I developed a "twitch" generally toward the crown of the road - just barely more than taking out the slack in the steering linkage, to shut off the message and reset the counter.

So I now concur, there are likely no sensors for hand position on the wheel.

Again, thank you all for your considered discussion.
 

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I tested my new Forester's safety systems - a few questions:
1. Under what circumstances do you get the steering wheel to give you lane keeping assist feature? I was not able to get it while switching lanes without my signal bring on or slowly pretending to veer slightly off my lane.
2. I tried to check the collision mitigation break system by putting a garbage can on our street in front of me and driving toward it (slowly) - even driving at 10 mph the breaks came on but not in time to keep me from hitting the trash can - is this normal? Can it be calibrated to warn me and start breaking earlier?
3. I tried checking the automatic back up breaking by placing two sizes of trash cans behind me to see if it would break - the car did not detect or break for a 2 foot trash can (child's height), and collided with the can; it only detected the large 4 foot trash can and applied the breaks.
My FXT fully loaded and has RAS but my brother still hit a low side wall while backing up scratching the corner rear bumper, not even a warning. I would not count on any of these safety features to work 100% but hopefully just in case I messed up.
 

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Yea, none of these features are 100%, but if used wisely, they can help (other than the lane-keep feature... God, I hate this one). I too love the adaptive cruise control in light traffic situations on long drives.
 

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Thank you all for your application of intelligence, interest, and observations here. I should have said, "speculation of such...". And @Kean well-said, and you figured out that I meant "4 and 8" for hand positions. And I dare say it is too broad a statement to say "outmoded". This is most certainly still being taught to high school students in our million-plus population county.
Are you speaking of 10-2? Well, the fact is that it is outdated. Some high schools still may be teaching it but many professional driving instructors/schools teach 9-3 which in line with recommendations from most of the big insurance companies, AAA and even the NHTSA.

If you're talking about 8-4, you're right. anywhere between 8-4 and 9-3 is generally acceptable these days but I still feel 9-3 provides better control and range through turns IMO / IME. .....so there are other reasons not to use 10-2 IMO but the main cause for it being abandoned is due to airbags. Your arms have a higher chance of being injured when the bag is deployed and / or your face. This is one big reason why the 12-1 o'clock hold you see a lot of people using typically accompanied by "the lean" is such a bad idea. Not just for control but also due to the potential for injury.

I would also take issue with the qualification of "never" for "intended". The amount of engineering that has gone into the lane keeping feature far exceeds the minimum, and no car company wants to be left out in the cold when the insurance companies get around to offering substantial discounts for self-driving cars along with proof of it being used.
You may take issue with it but the fact is that those systems are intended to be used in specific scenarios. That's not personal opinion, that's based on what the manufacturer recommends. Things like adaptive cruise control and LKA may work in some scenarios it was not intended to be used in but people need to be aware of the limitations. .....and in either case, LKA should never be used to steer the vehicle. You as the driver should still be doing that. In your Subaru, it is just an aid that's there to bring your attention if you inadvertently deviate from your lane.

I drove another 800 miles in the last three days, much of it on interstate highways and divided four lanes. I'm more and more loving the adaptive cruise control, though it does have a quirk that has be disengaging it for this specific circumstance. Most of us, with two lines of cars, will find ourselves in the left lane, waiting for a slower car to pull over. Seeing that the other driver is doing this out of courtesy, and is him/herself running up on a still slower vehicle in the right lane, will want to quickly move back over to the left lane -- under this circumstance, most of us will want to start accelerating as soon as the driver ahead signals they are moving over. Unfortunately, the adaptive cruise control waits until the car ahead is almost completely out of the lane, before it thinks about accelerating, and even then, there seems to be a bit of a delay, before one sees the RPM increase. Twice today with this delay, the car/truck that had moved over for me, must have wondered why I didn't pass right away, and they just returned to the left lane at their before lesser speed than mine was set.

That said, the adaptive cruise control does an excellent job of keeping up in so-called accordion traffic, which I encountered only twice, thank fully. The cruise control maintains a comfortably close following distance, which is safe enough for the computer(s) to react to a slow down, and just close enough to discourage all but the most assertive drivers from trying to slip in the space. I was also really impressed as the adaptive cruise control worked at least down to six mph, even when the set point was 70 - the speed limit.

I drove ~400 miles today, mostly on I-80 and I-76, and almost all of it was with the EyeSight driving. Only on the sharpest curves in the mountains would it say OFF (aka, "You take it"), and almost always, even before the curve was finished, it would restart (aka, "O.k. I've got it").

There was only one section of highway in Wisconsin between Stevens Point and Oskosh - there was something "special" about the center lane markings, EyeSight just could not consistently sense those - and for that stretch, for all intents and purposes, there was no availability of the lane keeping.

For today's drive, I had my hands mostly at 4 and 8; occasionally one handed at the bottom of the wheel. With a slightly greater grip than I had on the drive up (can't be more than that for long periods, or I develop cramps), for road segments with curves, there was enough "input" to the wheel (or conversely, the wheel acting against the weight of my hands so gripped), the "hands on wheel" notice was seldom seen. On arrow straight segments, even the weight of my hands was insufficient to forestall the 15 second reminder -- and I developed a "twitch" generally toward the crown of the road - just barely more than taking out the slack in the steering linkage, to shut off the message and reset the counter.

So I now concur, there are likely no sensors for hand position on the wheel.

Again, thank you all for your considered discussion.
It's not necessarily the grip that makes a difference but the control over the wheel. The thing is, LKA shouldn't be regularly correcting your steering if you're controlling the car. Personally, it had some novelty at first for me just playing around with it but I quickly found it annoying so I just leave it off. Adaptive cruise control on the other hand is the bees knees.
 

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There is little credence in "manufacturer recommends" - as we have no idea from whence that recommendation stems. Did the lawyers get involved, and say, "We deny everything!" Did the marketing department override and say, "We will sell more if we tease them." A distant last is a group saying, "This will benefit the consumers the most." I point to the "discovery" of this site's inquisitive members that the same vehicle has significantly different tow limits depending on if it is sold in the US, or sold elsewhere. Feel free to believe "it was never intended" and "should never be used", and to act on your beliefs.

I will enjoy the vehicle as built.
 
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