With every passing year, more and more automakers are throwing their hat into the autonomous driving ring, and Mazda is no exception. But when it comes to self-driving cars, Mazda is unique in its approach. Keeping with its motto “Driving Matters,” Mazda wants to make cars with autonomous technology without sacrificing driver control.
Mazda CEO Masahiro Moro said point blank that “No steering wheel is not an option for us,” and went on to say that autonomous tech should be there to help drivers enjoy the car more, not make driver input impossible.
There are five levels of automation, ranging from hands-on automation like Adaptive Cruise Control (Level 1) and full autonomy in certain situations (Level 3) to Level 5, the steering wheel-free level that Mazda prefers to avoid.
Moro says that Level 4, where the car can drive safely in all situations without driver input, is as far as Mazda will go, and only if the technology allows “driving dynamics between the car and the driver.”
Mazda autonomous drive technology is still in development and won’t be available on Mazda vehicles for some time, but here at Wantagh Mazda, we’re thrilled that Mazda is dedicated to balancing its values with evolving technology and needs.