Mazda is focused on enhancing the sense of oneness between car and driver throughout everyday driving situations. They call it Jinba Ittai and it is a core element of Mazda’s human-centric engineering philosophy. Mazda believes that when you are truly connected with your car, you are able to awaken your senses to help you feel alive.
It happens at a deeper level, when distractions are removed, and drivers feel truly connected.
“As humans, our bodies respond subconsciously in a variety of ways while we are driving,” said Hiroyuki Matsumoto, executive officer at Mazda. “We want to thoroughly research this movement and create cars that move in accordance with what humans are subconsciously feeling… Jinba Ittai philosophy has now reached this level of sophistication.”
To capture this feeling of oneness, Mazda goes beyond the realm of ergonomics to use the principles of Kansei Engineering: engineering based on human feelings.
But with Mazda’s latest generation of vehicles, Kansei Engineering is being taken in an innovative new direction that allows Mazda to carry out research and development that encompasses cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Their goal is to help eliminate anything that causes discomfort or discord and to focus their efforts on improving elements of the car that bring greater comfort.
Mazda’s Human-Machine Interface (HMI) approach focuses on minimizing the three main types of distractions for drivers:
- Cognitive distraction: When the driver is distracted by non-driving operations, such as searching for a switch or not knowing how to operate the user interface
- Visual distraction: When the driver is not looking at the road because they are checking something on the display
- Manual distraction: When the driver moves out of correct posture due to a need to physically move to operate something
In order to counteract distractions, Mazda organizes information and controls to encourage a safe and stress-free driving environment. All functions are designed to facilitate intuitive recognition, judgement, and operation. This helps drivers feel more at ease while driving, enabling them to keep their focus on the road.
If the area around the driver’s seat is overly complex, drivers are more likely to be distracted. That’s why Mazda ranks the information needed while driving in order of priority. The car then presents this information in as clear and uncluttered a manner as possible:
- Active information that needs to stay at the forefront of the driver’s mind is shown on the Active Driving Display
- Key vehicle status information such as the fuel gauge is displayed on the gauges
- The center display shows comfort and convenience information such as music sources
Eliminating Road Noise
Road noise can be a major source of discomfort when driving, especially spikes or sudden changes in road noise. Mazda engineers designed the cabin of the first-ever CX-30 crossover SUV based on how humans process sound. By taking this approach, they were able to go beyond creating a mere quiet cabin and instead they were able to thoroughly eliminate unpleasant noises. They accomplished this through better sound insulation, adding two-wall structures that retain space between each wall. They were also able to remove the large holes used for the door speakers and any holes or gaps in the floor carpeting. By using sound-absorbing floor mats and tire structures, CX-30 absorbs vibrations to reduce sudden spikes for a more linear sound.