Fleet maintenance is a costly and regular occurrence, especially when new technology is adopted. One prominent piece of safety equipment making its way into fleets is Subaru’s EyeSight safety package, which more than half of all new Subarus are being sold with.
As a camera-based system, EyeSight contains the Japanese carmaker’s revered autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control features – all of which rely on a clear view through the windscreen in order to operate safely. So what happens if it comes time to replace that glass?
We threw a few questions to Subaru Australia’s natonal parts and accessories manager, Matthew Morgan for those considering investing in the collision avoidance technology.
Do vehicles with crash avoidance technology such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB), radar cruise control etc need special glass treatments, tools and equipment and staff training for the replacement and calibration of damaged windscreens to avoid jeopordising how these safety systems function?
“Subaru EyeSight technology is a stereo camera system that requires a high grade finish to the front windscreen, to minimise glass distortion and maximise the quality of the imagery captured by the cameras,” Matthew said.
“Should the system require a replacement screen, the glass can be replaced in accordance with the workshop manual by any automotive glass specialist.”
“The EyeSight system will require calibration after the glass replacement. This requires the correct procedure to be followed, as outlined in the workshop manual, as well as special tools. Moreover, to ensure consistency of quality, Subaru provide training to the Subaru retail network.”
What is the relationship between OEMs and third party suppliers and workshops like Kmart Tyre & Auto, O’Brien Glass etc for replacements and calibration of these safety-conscious systems.
“EyeSight glass is available and regularly ordered by non-OEM suppliers, normally with the supplier coordinating with the Subaru retail network to calibrate the new screen,” Matthew said.
Why should fleet managers ensure they’re taking their vehicles with AEB etc to an authorised dealer or third-party workshop?
“We only recommend genuine glass to be used due to the glass specification required to ensure the system operates as expected,” Matthew adds.
“If a non-genuine product is used, we cannot ensure the product (windscreen) will offer the same level of quality required or whether it’s even capable of calibration.”
Matthew also highlights the importance of knowing that, “successful calibration is not an indicator of optimum or even appropriate glass quality.”
Subaru Australia says it has been working with its retailer network to reduce calibration times of EyeSight glass, and from March 1 will offer the calibration free of charge for new EyeSight screens purchased after that date.
This initiative aims to make the cost of a replacement screen and its calibration consistent for Subaru fleet managers and retail owners.