8 October 2021 · Mazda Muse
A Safe Place For Everyone
Zoom-Zoom highlights some of Mazda’s award-winning safety systems and we take a look at some ingenious technologies from around the world, designed for cyclists, bikers and pedestrians too.
Words Luke Ponsford
Mazda’s attitude to safety goes beyond just protecting drivers and occupants of its own vehicles. It wants to make sure all road users are kept free from harm.
Thanks to Mazda’s Traffic Sign Recognition System (shown above), drivers are made more aware of traffic signs and changes in speed. The system detects and reads road signs – such as “stop” and “do not enter” – and local speed limits using the car’s Forward Sensing Camera, alerting the driver via the car’s Active Driving Display. If you happen to be going too fast, the Active Driving Display will project the recognised speed limit sign on your windscreen, as well as flashing an amber light and then emitting a warning sound, encouraging you to slow down. Think of this system as another pair of eyes on the road, helping you to recognise any potential hazards while keeping you safe.
The Mazda MX-30’s body was designed to deliver excellent collision safety performance and Mazda’s engineers considered every possible situation in the event of an accident. Even the battery is equipped with a special protective structure designed to fully shield occupants from the risk of high voltage in a crash. Most recently, a front-seat centre side airbag* has been introduced in order to protect vehicle occupants from crashing into each other during a collision. Mounted inside the driver’s seat, this airbag protects the head and chest areas, and prevents direct contact with the seats or doors on the opposite side of the vehicle, should the driver be traveling alone. Engineers ensured that this airbag was rigidly self-supporting and would not easily fall down once activated, even without support from the side.
HÖVDING’S AIRBAG FOR CYCLISTS
Swedish safety technology company Hövding’s unique airbag technology protects cyclists up to 80 per cent more than traditional bicycle helmets. Hövding’s urban cyclist airbag – which sits around your neck like a collar – reads the wearer’s movements 200 times a second and in the event of an accident deploys in 0.1 second, protecting the head. The accident detection system’s algorithm is based on artificial intelligence technology, fed by data that corresponds to both accidents and non-accidents. The data has been created by collecting the movement patterns from over 3,000 staged accidents of different types and intensity, simulated by professional stunt performers. In addition, over 2,000 hours of non-accident data has been collected by 300 regular cyclists. The resulting system allows you to ride safely, while avoiding helmet hair.
“AS OF 2020, 11 MAZDA MODELS HAVE BEEN GIVEN A FIVE-STAR ANCAP SAFETY RATING.”
ANCAP (AUSTRALASIAN NEW CAR ASSESSMENT PROGRAM)
MAZDA’S SMART BRAKE SUPPORT
Mazda’s ingenious Smart Brake Support System (SBS) helps drivers to avoid or reduce accidents by automatically applying the brake if there is a danger of collision. Using a radar sensor installed behind the car’s grille, SBS is capable of detecting vehicles and obstacles as far as 200 metres ahead. When a risk of collision is detected, the system slows the car via a two-stage brake operation. The brakes are primed for maximum stopping power when the driver steps on the pedal, while automatic emergency braking is activated if the driver fails to respond, stopping the car before impact or slowing it down to reduce the effects of an imminent collision. SBS is the next step on from Mazda’s low-speed Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system, operating at speeds between 16km/h and 145km/h.
“THE 2021 MAZDA3 SEDAN AND HATCH, MAZDA6 SEDAN, MAZDA CX-3, MAZDA CX-30, MAZDA CX-5 AND MAZDA CX-9 MODELS HAVE ALL BEEN RATED TOP SAFETY PICK+ BY THE IIHS.”
IIHS (INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY)
UMBRELLIUM’S SMART STARLING CROSSING
Back in 2017, British design and engineering company Umbrellium created the Starling Crossing prototype (pictured). It set out to react in real-time to different road conditions, making pedestrian crossings far safer to use. A network of cameras tracked moving objects and identified whether they were vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians. This data was then used to predict where they were going, re-configuring the patterns, layout and size of pedestrian crossings using computer-controlled LEDs. If there were few pedestrians around, the Starling Crossing would only appear when someone approached. The prototype led to the creation of Starling Technologies. And the company has recently been trialling road safety technology with French international road engineering giant Colas.
SPIDI’S MOTORCYCLE JACKET THAT WARNS OF POLLUTION
Urban motorcyclists are exposed to 100 times more pollution than car drivers. That’s why Italian motorcycle clothing company Spidi developed the Mission Beta Concept jacket. It features an integrated sensor that detects levels of air pollution while the rider is on the move. If pollution levels are too high, a sleeve-mounted display tells the rider to don the jacket’s integrated anti-contamination mask, which is compatible with any helmet.
MAZDA’S FUTURE SAFETY TECHNOLOGY: CO-PILOT CONCEPT
Mazda is developing the Mazda Co-Pilot Concept, which is a human-centric autonomous driving system. The system continuously monitors the driver's condition and, if it detects any sudden change, will switch the car to autonomous driving. It then brings the car to a safe place and stops it, and places an emergency call. While many manufacturers are heading towards a fully autonomous future, there are no plans for the Co-Pilot Concept to totally automate the driving experience. Rather it will allow you to enjoy the drive but maintain peace of mind that the car will step in should an emergency arise. Mazda plans to start introducing the Mazda Co-Pilot 1.0 into its vehicles from 2022. the base model.
Mazda Co-Pilot Concept aims to make driving safer, without detracting from the driving experience. Early imagery of the system in action (above) shows the test car recognising the driver has fallen ill, automatically taking control of the vehicle and safely pulling to a stop at the side of the road.
DRIVE WITH CONFIDENCE
Discover more about Mazda’s award-winning safety technology