New Subaru SUV Can Recognize Its Drivers’ Faces

“Based on facial biometrics, the system is primarily designed to monitor the driver for signs of fatigue or distraction…”

Subaru has announced pricing for its new SUV sporting a biometric safety feature: The 2019 Subaru Forester Touring model will start at $34,295.

New Subaru SUV Can Recognize Its Drivers' Faces

(PRNewsfoto/Subaru of America, Inc.)

First announced at this year’s New York International Auto Show, the 2019 Touring model is notable for, among other things, its DriverFocus safety system. Based on facial biometrics, the system is primarily designed to monitor the driver for signs of fatigue or distraction; if any such signs are detected, the system can engage EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, supporting the driver with AI-driven maneuvers like adaptive cruise control and lane assist.

The system also offers convenience: It can remember up to five different drivers and their preferred settings, and adjust them accordingly based on who is in the driver’s seat.

A number of companies have been exploring these kinds of applications of biometric technology in otherwise conventional consumer vehicles, but Subaru is ahead of the curve in actually putting them into practice. And while DriverFocus is part of a premium package of features that also includes things like seven-speed manual shift mode and 18-inch alloy wheels, in a statement announcing the new Forester models, Subaru has placed a strong emphasis on the biometric system, singling it out as a key feature of its ‘top-of-the-line’ Touring model, which is $10,000 more expensive than the most basic version of the 2019 Forester.

The new cars are slated to hit the market this autumn.