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Inside Mazda

Science Behind Engineering a Feeling

Mazda 3 hatchback and sedan AWD bose speakers

Like anthropologists immersed in ground research, Mazda engineers diligently and doggedly study humans, extending into the fields of cognitive psychology and brain science. They learn our patterns, decode our habits, understand our comforts–all to design better cars–cars with a stronger connection to their human drivers.

The all-new Mazda3 begins with this same human-centric focus, committed to elevating the enjoyment drivers feel when traveling from point A to B. Starting from a deep study of human physiology and movement, the all-new Mazda was designed from the inside out around the driver.

mazda human centric design

“We are relentlessly focused on human-centricity,” explained Dino Bernacchi, chief marketing officer for Mazda North American Operations. “Mazda is known for superior driving

dynamics. This comes from our relentless study of how humans move, which helps us engineer our vehicles to feel like an extension of the driver’s body.”

We take it for granted, but when we walk or run, we never get motion sickness.  By studying the human body, Mazda engineers learned that this is because we are subconsciously controlling our legs, feet, pelvis, and the spine to minimize head movement. With this insight, Mazda engineers took a fresh look at every single part and redesigned them in order to reduce head movements.

The human body’s amazing ability to balance itself is our starting point. Going beyond conventional ergonomics in the all-new Mazda3, the driving position and the seats were crafted to compliment a natural posture for the human body. The seats in the all-new Mazda3 support the pelvis in an upright position that keeps the occupant’s spine in a natural S-shaped curve, which is the same posture that a person assumes naturally when walking. Mazda engineers discovered that by moving the pelvis and spine to maintain balance, the body absorbs input from the road surface and stabilizes the head.

In studying how people hear and how vibrations are processed by the human body, Mazda engineers realized that people are more sensitive to changes in sound than the sound level itself. Rapid changes are unpleasant, and linear changes are much more pleasing. Using this knowledge, Mazda designer reduced the outside noise entering the cabin of the all-new Mazda3. Then they reduced the reflection of interior sound from conversations and stereo audio. The result is a clearer connection to the world with a well-damped sense of quality to the sound.

From the tires, through the suspension, body structure, cabin and seats, Mazda took a holistic approach with the all-new Mazda3 that focused on how the complete vehicle performs and feels rather than simply maximizing each individual system.

“The way everything is integrated now, when you turn the steering wheel it’s actually turning the wheels, it’s operating the engine, it’s operating the brakes and it’s operating the all-wheel drive system all from the steering wheel,” explained Dave Coleman, development engineer at Mazda’s research and development center. “It’s really sort of a harmonious interaction of all the parts of the car to make it behave naturally.”