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Subaru can now test self-driving cars in California

The automaker joins nearly two dozen other permitted outfits in the Golden State.


Get your camera and telephoto lens ready -- it's time for even more spy shot opportunities in California.

Subaru received its Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit from the California Department of Motor Vehicles on February 9. According to the DMV's list, it joins other manufacturers and suppliers including BMW, Honda, Ford, Waymo, Nvidia and Delphi. In all, 22 groups have permits for testing autonomous vehicles in California.

This image of Eyesight "working" is the closest you'll get to a self-driving Subaru for the time being.


Right now, Subaru doesn't really dabble in semiautonomy. It has Eyesight, which is a suite of active and passive driver aids, but its offerings focus more on safety than self-driving. Eyesight gives a car adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warning.

Eventually, its offerings will expand to include systems that are capable of holding a lane and stopping and starting in traffic, at speeds up to 40 mph. Subaru also hopes to offer a system that will navigate curves and bends, as well as autonomous lane switching, by 2020.

If there's any place to test a system like that, it's California. Or Michigan, perhaps.

Automakers are part of an ever-increasing contingent testing self-driving on public roads. GM's Cruise Automation recently released a video showing a 23-minute driverless jaunt around San Francisco. Volvo has some self-driving cars, too, several of which have gone to Uber for testing ... with mixed results.