Collisions often happen when unnoticed vehicles approach in the blindspot of a vehicle changing lanes at high speed. To prevent such accidents, Mazda has launched Japan's first Rear Vehicle Monitoring System, which detects and warns the driver of vehicles approaching from behind in adjacent lanes.
The Japanese National Police Agency's figures reveal 5,744 fatalities from traffic accidents in Japan for 2007, down for the seventh consecutive year. This is the first time in 54 years that the total has fallen below 6,000. The reasons for this trend include greater use of seatbelts, and the spread of safety equipment such as airbags and Antilock Braking Systems (ABS).
The foundation of Mazda's commitment to building Zoom-Zoom cars is, first and foremost, to prioritize safety. Based on this awareness, in addition to airbags and ABSs, we are continually striving to develop safety equipment and technologies, such as Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) features, and to promote their use.
In future, technologies that contribute to the reduction of accidents will grow in importance. Mazda will step up development of technologies that support accident prevention and safe driving.
In recent years, the number of traffic accidents and injuries in Japan has remained high despite the downtrend in fatalities. Further, on a global scale, the increase in the number of vehicles on the road is leading to year-on-year increases in the incidence of traffic accidents.
In response, we developed the Mazda Pre-crash Safety System as a technology to support accident prevention. This system is currently installed as an option in the MPV and CX-7 in Japan. The system uses radar sensors to detect vehicles or obstacles ahead, and when necessary, acts to avoid them and prevent accidents. Furthermore, this system also mitigates harm to the occupants in the case of an unavoidable collision.
LED located on the door mirror support
Mazda has launched Japan's first Rear Vehicle Monitoring System, a driving support tool that detects vehicles approaching from behind in adjacent lines at high speeds, and notifies the driver. The system is installed as an option in the new Atenza for Japan, which was launched in January 2008.
The Rear Vehicle Monitoring System detects vehicles approaching from behind in adjacent lanes at speeds in excess of 60 kph using two radar sensors. If a vehicle enters a defined danger area on either side of the Mazda, an LED on the door mirror lights up to notify the driver that a collision is likely if he/she changes lanes. If, despite this visual prompt, the driver activates the indicator to signal a lane change, the LED flashes and a warning buzzer sounds. With a radar detection range of approximately 50 meters to the rear, the system supports the driver's perception and judgment, reducing both accidents and the stressful surprises of near misses.
According to a survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of America, accidents while changing lanes account for approximately 9% of all traffic accidents, making it the fourth most common cause of everyday accidents reported in the United States.
In the United States, drivers tend to make frequent and repeated lane changes, as they weave along congested multilane highways. In light of these traffic conditions, Mazda has developed the Blind Spot Monitoring System, similar in function to the Rear Vehicle Monitoring System. It detects vehicles up to seven meters behind in the adjacent lane, where most vehicles have a blind spot, and then warns the driver of the danger of changing lanes. The system was first installed as an option in the CX-9, which was launched in 2007.
Mazda is committed to the development of safety technologies that contribute to the reduction of accidents, and also the development of driving support systems that reduce stressful surprises on the road. Through the widespread adoption of these technologies, we are contributing toward the realization of an accident-free, safe automotive society.
Assistant Manager, Electronics Testing & Research Group, Vehicle System Development Department
Some years ago, a friend of mine was killed in a traffic accident. This made me want to dedicate myself to developing cars that are never involved in accidents.
To ensure customers will always be able to experience "the sheer joy of driving," we will continue striving to develop accident-free vehicles that provide comfortable and safe driving. Moreover, I sincerely hope that the safety technologies we develop make a definite contribution to accident reduction.
Vehicle Integrated Control Development Group, Vehicle System Development Department
Since joining the Company, I have been engaged in the research of active safety technologies. I always look forward to seeing the results of my research reach mass production and passed on to customers. This dream finally came true with the development of the Rear Vehicle Monitoring System.
Human beings will always make mistakes. Accordingly, Mazda will continue to develop systems and technologies that can support the Zoom-Zoom driving experience by enhancing the driver's attention and awareness.