Subaru to Start Testing Autonomous Tech in California

Another automaker joins the mix.

By now, no one is surprised when a manufacturer announces they're dabbling in autonomous tech. It's where most of them are headed, and that's okay. However, that doesn't withhold our interest. According to Engadget, Subaru has reportedly attained a permit to start testing driverless vehicles in the state of California, meaning that the company looks to have serious intention of releasing similar equipment in the near future.

This is a major step towards improving safety across Subaru's lineup, one that already boasts some of the best safety ratings in the industry. The company's EyeSight technology features some active features including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, and lane departure assist. If Subaru can cohesively blend that equipment with this new autonomous technology then they can stay at the forefront in a world of serious safety standards. Engadget did mention in their report that the manufacturer plans to release cars with semi-autonomous features like automatic lane changing by the year 2020.

Subaru is yet to release their intentions with the technology they're testing. We assume it's still several years out, but the fact that they're testing it on public roads means its advanced enough to be trusted in the real world. Once combined with EyeSight and their famed all wheel drive system, it should be a home-run hitter with the road-safety organizations. They were already awarded 6 IIHS Top Safety Picks in 2016, so things can only go up from there.

With this news, Subaru joins 21 other companies who have attained the same permits for similar testing. This includes other manufacturers like Ford as well as technology startups such as AutoX and Waymo. California has been strict as of late on companies testing such equipment, making sure they have the proper documentation to do so -- ask Uber. It'll be interesting to see what direction Subaru takes with this move, and we'll be sure to update you as we get more news on the situation.