If you have seen the movie “Minority Report,” it gives you a good idea of what the future of autonomous driving could look like. The driverless car industry has split autonomous driving technology into five levels. What you see in the movies, is level 5, meaning no human interaction required. Though many other automakers are working towards this goal, Mazda is taking a unique approach to vehicle autonomy.
Mazda has long been focused on giving drivers a thrilling driving experience. While having a car that can drive itself is a novel idea, it doesn’t offer any hands-on thrills. Instead, Mazda is focusing its future autonomous driving technology on being a supplemental function.
The Mazda Co-Pilot System would only activate if the driver needed help. For example, if the driver suffered a seizure or was attempting to drive while drunk.
Mazda deputy general manager Matsuhiro Tanaka articulated the company’s vision for autonomous tech. “What we are focused on is that it always has to be the joy of driving that comes first, then, should anything happen to the driver that renders the situation dangerous, then the autonomous driving functions will kick in and take them to a safe place.”
Tanaka went on to say that Mazda isn’t trying to develop a new technology. It is simply working to incorporate the existing technology in an innovative new way that will help protect the driver and everyone else on the road.