Automatic High Beams

The Subaru commitment to safety means more than just protecting drivers in the event of a crash - it also means developing innovative features that can help mitigate the risk of collision. One such feature, High Beam Assist (HBA), offers the dual benefit of maximizing nighttime visibility and making the driver’s job easier by adjusting high beams automatically. 

As part of our EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, High Beam Assist surveys a vehicle’s surroundings and automatically engages headlights in darkness. HBA sensors intelligently switch between high and low settings as needed to provide optimal visibility for the driver without compromising visibility for other drivers. This feature eliminates the burden of having to switch manually between high and low beams at a moment’s notice, which may force a driver to take their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road.

How Does High Beam Assist Work?

Our automatic High Beam Assist feature leverages the same system of sensors and outward-facing cameras that power EyeSight. Through advanced processing, the system can identify ambient light conditions and recognize objects like other vehicles, streetlights, and even pedestrians. HBA continuously monitors surroundings and automatically turns on and adapts to nighttime or low light conditions. If minimal ambient light is detected with an empty road ahead, HBA can automatically turn on the high beams to provide a deeper field of vision. 

As light conditions improve – for instance, when turning onto a main road with adequate streetlamps – HBA can sense that high beams are no longer needed and switch back to low beams. When sensors detect an oncoming vehicle, HBA processors calculate its distance, speed, and relative location, and quickly dim the headlights to low beam so as not to create glare or blind the approaching motorist. After the vehicle passes, the system seamlessly re-engages high beams for maximum visibility, without the driver ever having to take manual action.

Benefits of High Beam Assist

HBA contributes to an overall safer driving experience by helping to mitigate the risk of accidents caused by blinding headlights. Without the worry of making manual lighting adjustments that could take their attention away from the road ahead, drivers with automatic brights may feel more comfortable and focused behind the wheel. 

Additional benefits of an HBA system include: 

  • Improved safety during nighttime driving
  • Minimal risk of blinding other approaching motorists
  • Enhanced visibility in low-light conditions
  • Effortless shifting between low beams and high beams
  • Fewer distractions to disturb driving focus
  • Greater confidence and peace of mind while driving at night
  • Earlier detection of potential hazards on the road (and more time to avoid them)
  • A potentially more relaxed and enjoyable driving experience


Subaru Vehicles with High Beam Assist

Subaru is dedicated to producing the safest, highest quality vehicles possible. That’s why High Beam Assist is available in each of our models, and comes as a standard feature in all trims of all models, with the exception of our Subaru BRZ, which offers HBA as an optional add-on:


Additional Subaru Lighting Features

High Beam Assist is just one of many intelligent lighting features that Subaru offers. Others include:

  • Steering-responsive headlights dynamically adjust their direction and angle based on how the vehicle is steered. They illuminate the path ahead, particularly as the vehicle turns or steers around a curve.
  • LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) are a separate set of low-intensity headlights that run automatically while a vehicle is in operation. DRLs are meant to increase the vehicle’s visibility to other drivers on the road and are particularly helpful during inclement weather.
  • Automatic headlights function similarly to HBA. They detect changes in ambient light and engage automatically when a vehicle encounters low lighting conditions, such as in a tunnel or parking garage, on dark rural roads, or during nighttime drives.
  • Fog lights are an auxiliary pair of lights that emit a wide, low beam of light directly in front of the vehicle. Positioned intentionally low on the bumper, fog lights are able to provide greater visibility in foggy conditions without reflecting off the particles in the air as standard headlights can sometimes do.

How to Activate High Beam Assist

Activating High Beam Assist in your Subaru is easy. First, locate the headlight control lever on the left side of the steering wheel. Rotate the outer mechanism to change modes – for automatic mode, make sure AUTO is selected. In this position, automatic headlights are now activated. To activate HBA, simply push the lever forward from the AUTO position as you would to engage your high beams manually.

Once HBA is engaged, you can also adjust light sensitivity settings. From the default most light-sensitive position, you may notice your headlights or high beams constantly switching on and off as sunlight fluctuates due to cloud cover or briefly traveling underneath an overpass. Using the dashboard screen controls located on your wheel, you can toggle between Min., Low, High, and Max. settings depending on your preference. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for model-specific instructions.

Compare all Subaru Features

With High Beam Assist available on all models, it’s just one more reason to love a Subaru. Continuous innovation is at the core of every Subaru vehicle, making safety and optimized visibility a priority for drivers and everyone sharing the road.  Shop our full lineup of vehicles today!