Instead, Subaru will wait and build them in a 'smart way.'
Autonomous cars are a hot-button issue right now. Proponents of self-driving vehicles claim they will be much safer than the current paradigm of human driven vehicles, while detractors argue the legal minutia of who is responsible when an autonomous car fails. As we have seen, autonomous car technology is far from foolproof and several crashes have been recorded. Many automakers want to be the first to offer a truly self-driving car, and have released new technologies to give consumers a taste of what the autonomous future will be like.
Subaru is not one of the automakers racing to be the first with autonomous driving tech. The company current offers a suite of driver aids with its advanced EyeSight system, but a self-driving car is not in Subaru's immediate plans. In an interview with Car Advice, CEO of Subaru America, Tom Doll, said, "Despite what some other manufacturers might be saying about their system, or trying to rush them too much into the marketplace, we are going to do it in a smart way." Doll mocked other "self-driving" systems because "You can't take your eyes off the road." Consumers clearly overestimate the capabilities of these systems and rely too heavily on them, resulting in fatal accidents.
Doll reiterated his company will not place the advantages of being the first to market with a self-driving car over customer safety. "We are going to do it in a way to make sure our customers are safe, we are going to try and prevent collisions first, and from there we will take it forward," he added. Subaru's latest EyeSight system can recognize the face of the driver and know when they aren't paying attention to the road. When asked about the time table of adding level three or four autonomous technology EyeSight, Doll said, "It's out there, we don't have a specific timetable, I won't say decades but it's not imminent." Only time will tell if Subaru is making the smart decision, or a huge mistake.