BUYER’S GUIDE: What Are These Gadgets On the Fronts of New Cars?

Posted by

If you’ve been checking out new cars lately, you may have noticed bumps, bulges, appendages, and gadgets are appearing.  Here’s where they came from, what they do and why they’re there.

eyesight subaru picture

As automakers move to install driver assistance technologies on vehicles, strange new parts are sprouting.  On Subaru vehicles, the most noticeable new parts are the twin EyeSight cameras mounted inside the cabin facing forward through the windshield.

Subaru has the lowest-cost vehicles with forward collision prevention system on the market now. Vehicles with these safety systems can sense a forward crash about to happen and take action to prevent the crash.  Eyesight is not just affordable, but also one of the top-ranked forward collision prevention systems available.  Subaru’s primarily optical system uses stereo camera technology to see the road ahead.

Mercedes-Benz uses radar sensors that can be hidden behind the company’s logo.  Have you noticed that the front logo on Mercedes vehicles has recently gotten much larger?  Not a coincidence.

mercedes FCP behind logo

The Ford in the image below is a fully-autonomous vehicle.  The beer-can size sensors on its roof-rack won’t be there when the system rolls out to your next Fusion.  Ford will miniaturize the sensors and hide them better.  This image is a good example of the pre-production look of such technology.

ford autonomous car snow crop

The Toyota below shows the way these sensors look when automakers first develop them on test-mules.  The technology is amazing on many levels, but one of the most impressive feats of engineering is making all that apparatus shrink to the size of the Mercedes and Subaru sensors found on today’s production vehicles.

self driving toyota

Looking for a new or used car? Check out’s local search.