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Hi all, I’m totally new to the Ascent and Subaru’s in general. I’m confused about using the LKA feature. I’ve read many conflicting things. Should I use it only on a highway? What about while driving on local (suburban) roads? I’ve never had any steering assist before. TIA for any advice!
 

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I keep mine “OFF” while driving locally and “ON” when driving long distance along with the adaptive cruise control.The first time experiencing the LKA in action kind of caught me off guard,didn’t like the “jerk back” feeling (especially on curves) when I first got the vehicle.After reading the manual I’m glad to see it was all normal operation.This was before I joined the forum for which I’ve learned is very helpful and can save you alot of headaches.
 

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The manual is VERY specific on this - pretty much Interstates only - or highways with similar traffic. Be sure to turn it off if the white lines are messed up, construction zones, etc. And, of course, if there is snow on the road, it can't "see the lines"


There is a reason why it's located in a spot surrounded by cruise control buttons only.
 

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I do keep it on all the time, I figure ultimately, it's probably safer to have it on than off on most roads.



It bothered me for the first few weeks, especially around curves on the highway, but I am used to it now. The system in my Lincoln is much less intrusive, but still performs the same task.
 

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I keep mine on all the time. It works on city streets just as well and can be just as important. Changing a station and wander over a bit, it'll "tap" you back into place.


It does take getting used to as the steering wheel turns under your hands a bit. Also at highway speeds it can feel "twitchy" until you realize that's the LKA giving you a bump. The Ascent is also a wide car, so until you're used to that (if coming from a smaller car, even an Outback) you'll get the warnings and bumps a lot more!


If I'm pulling over half a lane to avoid a stopped car on the side of the road or biker I'll signal (which you're supposed to do anyway) and that will also turn off LKA for a few seconds. Also handy at some highway exits where they have a white line painted over the exit. Turn signal keeps the warning off there too.


I do turn off LKA while towing as the correction is a bit much for a trailer!


Otherwise, now I'm used to it, I love it!
 

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I think the most important thing is the driver adjusting to knowing when it is on and that it might intervene (and when it is not), and not being "surprised" when the wheel moves in your hands. I tend to use it consistently on the Interstate and sometimes on 2 lane roads. But I have to remind myself and be aware of which mode it is in.

Initially, LKA would often move the steering wheel at the same time as I was manually correcting the steering, and that gave me the feeling that the steering was twitchy, because I felt like I was getting more steering correction than I had moved the wheel. It took me a while to adjust to feeling the feedback in the steering wheel.
 

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I’ve found myself lately trying to see how long I can drive without having LKA activate. I figure eventually I’ll learn to stay in the center of the lane on my own ?

My actual advice is just to stay alert as to what LKA is and can do. It can steer you wrong if you let it under certain circumstances, but otherwise it’s great as an assist.
 

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I never use LKA unless I'm out on the freeway and I'm kind of tired. If I find myself bouncing off a lane, then it's time to pull over and take a nap or stretch/walk/rest. I have it on as an insurance policy.
 

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I do keep it on all the time, I figure ultimately, it's probably safer to have it on than off on most roads.



It bothered me for the first few weeks, especially around curves on the highway, but I am used to it now. The system in my Lincoln is much less intrusive, but still performs the same task.
Keeping it on all of the time is not what Subaru recommends. See pages 70 thru 74 in the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology Manual. Page 72 is particularly appropriate for this discussion. I disagree wholeheartedly with the statement that "it's probably safer to have it on than off on most roads," unless most roads are, in Subaru's words - "expressways, freeways, toll roads, interstate highways and similar access roads."
 

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I have never turned my LKA off during the entire 6,000 miles I have driven the past 2 months on our current winter trip to California. We have been on pretty much every type of road and highway. It can get confused at times, especially in construction zones where the lane markers were moved and the old ones are still visible. There are times where it temporarily shuts itself off until it can figure out where the lane is.

I don't find it's suggestions intrusive, but I can understand how someone else could.
 
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Will existing cars ever get a software update that allow for lane centering assist, or does a feature like that require some level of hardware upgrade (better cameras, more CPU, perhaps an improved steering actuator)?

I'd wager they would be unlikely to add it to existing cars because of regulatory approval issues and the desire to pitch it as a major new feature designed to sell new cars, but it really seems like something that could be part of a software update that just makes LKA better.

If it can see lanes well enough now to avoid drifting outside them, I'm not real sure why it couldn't provide lane centering with the existing hardware.
 

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I keep it on all the time and generally drive more around town than highway. I've had it in other vehicles so I knew what to expect. I have never felt in any car as though the lane keep assist was taking over my control. I find it easy to override when I want/need to and think of it more as the system is "suggesting" rather than "insisting". Subaru's placement of the on/off button on the wheel is brilliant.
 

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Will existing cars ever get a software update that allow for lane centering assist, or does a feature like that require some level of hardware upgrade (better cameras, more CPU, perhaps an improved steering actuator)?

I'd wager they would be unlikely to add it to existing cars because of regulatory approval issues and the desire to pitch it as a major new feature designed to sell new cars, but it really seems like something that could be part of a software update that just makes LKA better.

If it can see lanes well enough now to avoid drifting outside them, I'm not real sure why it couldn't provide lane centering with the existing hardware.
I think for now that's a step too close to "self driving" and Subaru is often cautious until they've really really tested something. Other car makers (Tesla) have had bad press for failures in their systems.
 

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Touring Assist...

Touring Assist is in use in Japan, and various features of it (such as lane centering capabilities) will make their way into the 2020 Subaru Legacy. How much more of it will make its way into the US cars, I don't know.

Keep in mind, there are absolutely ZERO commercially available cars in the United States that are cleared for autonomous driving, including the Tesla.

There are NO autonomous systems in this country, at all. And that includes Tesla's vehicles, which are still all ALSO assistance systems (albeit at a higher level than others) that require a driver to have their hands on the wheel at all times.

That's one of the reasons I hate that they designate vehicle capabilites as "Level 1 autonomous", "Level 2 autonomous", etc. They are NOT autonomous until they hit Level *5*. Level 3 is the FIRST level with partial autonomy, and only Google has achieved that (with a gazillion sensors on a rather ugly sensor-clad car). Those cars NEVER made it to market. Level 4 is a higher level of partial autonomy than Level 3, but still not fully autonomous.

THE REASON I MENTION ALL OF THAT, is because there's not many hurdles to compete with Tesla or other vehicles, since they're not nearly autonomous, nor classified as such. The Ascent (and soon, the 2020 Legacy) is already nearly the same "autonomous level" as the Tesla Model S. :tango_face_wink:

So, I suspect we'll see even more "almost autonomous" features in upcoming years, especially since those capabilities are now weighing more heavily in safety ratings (and Subaru tries to stay ahead of the pack).

Here's some fun links:


Will existing cars ever get a software update that allow for lane centering assist, or does a feature like that require some level of hardware upgrade (better cameras, more CPU, perhaps an improved steering actuator)?

I'd wager they would be unlikely to add it to existing cars because of regulatory approval issues and the desire to pitch it as a major new feature designed to sell new cars, but it really seems like something that could be part of a software update that just makes LKA better.

If it can see lanes well enough now to avoid drifting outside them, I'm not real sure why it couldn't provide lane centering with the existing hardware.
I think for now that's a step too close to "self driving" and Subaru is often cautious until they've really really tested something. Other car makers (Tesla) have had bad press for failures in their systems.
 

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I’ve read many conflicting things. Should I use it only on a highway? What about while driving on local (suburban) roads? I’ve never had any steering assist before. TIA for any advice!
In the manual it does state:
Lane Keep Assist is designed for use on expressways, freeways, toll roads, interstate highways and similar limited access roads. In the following conditions, do not use Lane Keep Assist. Doing so may result in an accident.
- Ordinary roads (roads other than those mentioned above)
Having said that, on our 2019 Forester, I keep LKA turned on all the time. Since it's normally not active until you're going more than 35 - 40 mph, you're normally not hitting those speeds unless you're on roads that sort of qualify anyway. And I can verify that even if you ARE on an interstate, it'll have issues under the following conditions anyway. (Broadway Extension here in OKC, early morning or later afternoon.)
Shadows of guardrails or similar objects are overlapped on the lane markings.

The brightness changes such as when you drive under an overpass.
So realistically, just experiment with it, figure out how it feels, and once you find out you're hugging one of the lane markings, you'll figure it out.
 

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I think for now that's a step too close to "self driving" and Subaru is often cautious until they've really really tested something. Other car makers (Tesla) have had bad press for failures in their systems.
I'm pretty sure contemporary Volvos will auto lane center now, although I'd wager hands on the wheel are mandatory so it can't be used as a hands-off autonomous system.

I think the bigger problem isn't that existing self-drive functionality by itself causes crashes, but people misusing it and/or hacking it (like tricking the steering wheel grip sensor) and then having zero judgement (sleeping, using it in bad traffic or weather).

Realistically, 90% of the general population would probably be safer if they drove with eyesight plus auto lane centering. They wouldn't tailgate as much, the car can react to a sudden stopping car faster than you can and can track the center of lane better too.

My guess is the existing system could do lane centering given that it can already do lane keep assist, it just needs the software, which shouldn't be too tough considering its already tracking the lanes now. The hard problems are already solved.
 

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I've felt the LKA twitch slightly as lanes end/open up on the highway (not a big deal once you're used to it), but I learned today it's not a good idea to have it on in poor vision conditions. Dark and raining outside, it kicked me fairly hard to the left while driving on a straight highway. There were no extra lines on the road, but I assume it picked up some track in the rain. Obviously an extremely dangerous situation, which I called Subaru about, because in a different location it could have kicked me into oncoming traffic, into a ditch, or off a bridge. Most sensors on the car use ultrasonic to detect objects, but this uses "EyeSight" which uses two little cameras in the front windshield, so poor conditions can really confuse it. If you ask me, it should require a higher 'confidence' in what it's seeing to permit itself to turn the steering wheel.
They didn't have any specific recommendations for me, but it's good to see here that I shouldn't be using it all the time, because I don't think the dealer told me that.

So please, add 'poor conditions' to the list of situations you should NOT have this feature on.
 

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The only time I use the LKA is during road trip with ACC ON. I felt like with the LKA ON the steering feels more floaty and disconnected from the road. But that’s only me.
 

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To me it seemed to make the steering seem very over-responsive. I believe others have used the term "twitchy." My personal preference is off as the car lets me know with the yellow lights and a beep or two if I am moving off center. It seems very similar to the Acura system (2016 MDX). The Ascent tracks and drives very smoothly at highway speed and I find myself enjoying the drive more without the system engaged.
 
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