[Feature Story 1]
Mazda announced its long-term vision for technology development “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom” in 2007. The basic policy of the vision is to “provide all customers who purchase Mazda vehicles with driving pleasure as well as outstanding environmental and safety performance.”
Thanks to advances in mass-production, the automobile has contributed to society and enriched people’s lives by providing the freedom of personal mobility since its invention 130 years ago. Globally, automotive markets continue growing in line with population growth in emerging countries.
While vehicles are indispensable in people’s everyday lives, their spread has given rise to social challenges, including environmental and safety concerns.
Taking into account differences in energy sources, infrastructure and other factors influencing the automotive environment in each country or region, Mazda seeks to create value that enables the provision of “cars that are sustainable with the earth and society,” as stated in its Corporate Vision.
“The Zoom-Zoom tree” embodies the Zoom-Zoom concept and its spread throughout society. The tree absorbs the “ONE MAZDA” corporate culture as nutrients through firmly planted roots. As it continues to grow, the left branch represents the environment, the right branch represents safety, and the treetop embodies the Zoom-Zoom concept.
Interview / Environment
Offering Optimal Solutions to Reduce CO2 Emissions in Each Country and Region
Product Strategy Division
At COP21*1 held in December 2015, delegations adopted the Paris Agreement, a historic deal under which 150 countries and regions around the world pledged to work in cooperation to address global warming. It will become increasingly important for the automotive industry, as one of the major sources of CO2 emissions, to take environmental measures.
In addition to the predominant internal combustion engine, vehicles today are powered by diversifying power sources, including electric motors and hydrogen engines. Each has different characteristics regarding CO2 emissions, and available energy sources differ by country or region. For example, electric vehicles emit no CO2 while running, but in countries and regions where a high proportion of electricity is generated by thermal power, a considerable amount of CO2 is emitted during electricity production. In these countries and regions, electric vehicles cannot always reduce CO2 over the life cycle of vehicles. On the other hand, in the countries like Norway, most electricity is generated by hydroelectric power, and widespread use of electric vehicles will help curb CO2 emissions.
In implementing global warming countermeasures through its products, Mazda considers it important to develop a multisolution approach, while assessing total CO2 emissions over a vehicle’s entire life cycle. Based on this concept, we promote research and development not only from the perspective of “Tank-to-Wheel*2”, but also from that of “Well-to-Wheel*3”.
From the perspective of Tank-to-Wheel, we are proceeding with the development of SKYACTIV Generation 2 models to further improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines, which are most commonly used around the world since they can be used without making changes to conventional fuel infrastructure. At the same time, we are moving forward with the development of electric vehicle technology, including continuous research and development of electric vehicles, based on our Building-Block Strategy, which gradually introduces electric devices in stages. And from the perspective of Well-to-Tank, we are steadily conducting surveys and research through industry-academiagovernment collaborations.
Through these initiatives, we will continue research and development with a Well-to-Wheel perspective, aiming to offer solutions to reduce CO2 emissions that are optimize
Conceptual diagram of Well-to-Wheel*4
*1 The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
*2 Tank-to-Wheel, literally “from fuel tank to vehicle wheels.” In this article, this phrase is used to mean “from fuel tank to fuel consumption during driving.”
*3 Well-to-Wheel, literally “from oil well to vehicle wheels.” In this article, this phrase is used to mean “from fuel extraction to consumption during driving.”
*4 Where fossil fuel is extraction and used to drive a vehicle.
Interview / Safety
Applying Autonomous Driving Technologies in a Uniquely Mazda Way
Deputy General Manager
Integrated Control System Development Division
To contribute toward reducing traffic accidents through vehicle engineering, we conduct research and development in line with our safety philosophy, Mazda Proactive Safety, which particularly respects the driver.
To support safer driving in normal situations, we provide a good driving environment and excellent visibility by locating the major controls in ideal positions and improving handling stability, to ensure that drivers can enjoy driving without anxiety or stress. Meanwhile, our vehicles are designed to continuously monitor the driver’s movements and condition, offering information and warnings if necessary to provide the driver with appropriate support. Mazda has already introduced i-ACTIVSENSE, an umbrella term covering a series of advanced safety technologies, which we are working to continuously advance.
Moreover, Mazda is exploring possible future technologies based on the premise that drivers occasionally make unavoidable mistakes and are not always in the best state of health. For example, we envision an autonomous driving system that constantly monitors the driver’s condition, and can override the actions of the driver should it detect that he or she is not operating the vehicle properly. The idea is to fulfill our social responsibility of not endangering the customer and reducing risks to nearby people and property. The system will then automatically contact a third party, and help secure safety by driving the vehicle to an appropriate location where it will not be a danger to other people or property. In doing so, the system will help prevent an accident. We believe that autonomous driving technologies should be human-oriented to support safer driving by the customers themselves.
Currently, a variety of research and development activities are under way in the automotive industry. These include projects to develop technologies for autonomous driving as well as technologies for understanding the drivers’ condition, such as cognition, goodjudgment and vehicle manipulation, which are the basics for safer driving. In collaboration with universities, research institutes and suppliers, Mazda will continue research and development, to realize Mazda-unique autonomous driving technologies that can achieve both driving pleasure and safety performance. Through such efforts, the Company will contribute to the further reduction of traffic accidents.
In developing safety technologies, Mazda will continue to enrich people’s daily lives by providing the freedom of personal mobility into the future. The Company is also focusing on how vehicles can invigorate people both physically and mentally through driving pleasure. Driving a vehicle requires a certain level of skill and concentration, and there are indications that when people drive a vehicle, both their mind and body are revitalized and energized.
In recent years, developed nations have begun to confront aging as a social challenge. I consider that research and development aimed at vehicles capable of supporting drivers in an appropriate fashion can contribute to society, not only in providing the elderly with a safer and accessible means of transportation, but also in terms of antiaging by mitigating the decline in their mental and physical abilities.