Ideal Driving Position
In the new-generation models*1, the major driving operation devices, including the pedals and the steering wheel, which are interface between man and vehicle, are located in an ideal position for a driver to operate them with ease and without fatigue.
Pursuing the Ideal Joint Angle for Comfortable Driving
The driving position is designed based on the theory of the “comfortable joint-link angle,” the joint angle at which the driver of any physical type can exert strength quickly and properly. One such example is new Demio/Mazda2 equipped with a telescopic steering wheel*2 as standard equipment, which is a rare case in the segment of compact car.
Image of comfortable joint-link angle
Ideal Pedal Layout
The front wheels were repositioned farther forward and pedal shapes and spacing were optimized to realize a pedal layout that enables the driver to extend their leg and reach them more naturally. This helps enable finer pedal control and smooth foot transfer to the brake pedal. It is an ideal pedal layout that allows comfortable operation, even on long drives, and contributes to error-free operation, even when braking in an emergency.
Organ-Type Accelerator Pedal
With an organ-type accelerator pedal, the driver's heel is placed on the floor, and the driver's foot and the pedal follows the same trajectory. This makes accelerator pedal control easier because the heel position is stabilized. The accelerator pedal is positioned where the driver's foot naturally rests while sitting in the seat. This reduces both driving fatigue and the chances of the driver stepping on the wrong pedal when reacting quickly.
Organ-style accelerator pedal
*1 The new products that have incorporated Mazda’s innovative base technology SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY and Mazda’s new design theme “KODO-Soul of Motion” Applied models (as of July 31, 2016): CX-5, Atenza/Mazda6, Axela/Mazda3, Demio/ Mazda2, CX-3, Roadster/MX-5, new CX-4, new CX-9
*2 A mechanism to move the steering wheel back and forth.
In the new-generation models, Mazda considers it important to secure good visibility to help the driver prevent accidents by supporting his/her ability to predict and avoid his/her surroundings, such as road environment, other vehicles, obstacles, and pedestrians including children. The A-pillar is positioned about 100 mm rearward from its position in the previous model to expand the visible angle from the front seat by 1.8 degrees to both the right and the left. Moreover, to expand the vision through the door mirror so as to improve the visibility of pedestrians and obstacles, door mirrors are installed on the outer door board in a lower position.
Visibility for children is specially cared .
Visible angle expanded by moving A-pillar backward
Comparison of door mirror positions
Minimizing Causes of Careless Driving
Human Machine Interface (HMI) refers to the equipment and mechanisms to facilitate transmission of various information between the driver and the vehicle. Mazda’s HMI helps drivers to maintain a stable driving position and concentrate on driving safely, even while dealing with a variety of information. The thoroughly human-oriented cockpit design enables the driver to concentrate during driving and minimizes the three factors that cause careless driving: inattentive looking, inattentive thinking, operation in an unstable position. Mazda has adopted this cockpit design in the new-generation models since 2013.
Concept : Heads-Up Cockpit
In designing the cockpit, Mazda places importance on ensuring that various information communication functions are used safely and comfortably. Aiming at helping the driver concentrate on driving safely in a correct posture while dealing with many kinds of information, this HMI concept has achieved minimum visual distraction and posture change.
- ■ Simple cockpit with information sorted and placed in different zones
- ■ A 7-inch center display installed on the dashboard, enabling the driver to view it without lowering his/her eyes (1)
- ■ Commander control pursuing operation that does not require a visible check of the driver’s hand movements (2)
- ■ Active driving display to present vehicle speed, navigation route and other information as an image in front of the meter hood (3)
- ■ A voice-recognition system to control the functions by voice is also available.
Pursuing Safety Technologies that Ensure Safer and Secure Driving Pleasure
I am in charge of planning and promotion of strategies for safety technologies. We have discussions to find the ideal to aim at for the future and draw road maps to achieve the ideal. Since this job requires the profound knowledge of product technologies and development processes, and also the ability to understand the changes in the external environment, I have to keep learning every day through reading related theses and other efforts. Soon after joining Mazda, I was assigned to the vehicle testing & research department as part of the in-house personnel exchange program and learned about vehicle performance at the product development field, such as drivability testing & research. This experience helps me a lot in my present work. I will pursue safety technologies that ensure safer and secure driving pleasure for the period of car ownership of a customer, in a uniquely Mazda way.
Technology Planning Department,
Product Strategy Division