when safety is a

necessity

The best will always strive to be ahead of its game. It doesn’t matter if its just a game of racing, chess or golf, but it matters everywhere else. In this case, Mazda has gotten all of the vital methods right, but how about safety? Can it challenge the rest? We believe so, and this is why they’re here to deliver you the all-new i-Activsense that doesn’t only keep you safe, but others around you as well.

by KEEGAN DORAI

And it all remains the same here in the world of four wheels with an engine. The automotive world is a constantly changing sphere, where all manufacturers seek to do their best in everything. Lagging behind is no longer a viable option — all because in our current global climate, they believe that its time to deliver only the best and not opt for a second chance by doing stock clearances for their slow-selling models.

Yes, there is no time to do that, as now it’s all about building the best cars, the best engines, the best interiors, and the best designs. It is no doubt that most leading manufacturers are getting things right, but how about important stuffs that isn’t just about buying power? How about keeping others around you alive? And how about keeping yourself out of danger at moments of great peril? After all, we are human beings — and therefore, we make mistakes that are sometimes, unavoidable.

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The key to a sustainable growth is to ensure a country’s population is free from any source of… well — depopulating factors. A great nation needs people, and having too little or too many is not the best balance. What fits in this vast picture of globalisation is ensuring sustainability at a perfect rate. And this is why manufacturers are churning out vehicles with advanced safety technologies to keep everyone safe and sound. Be it a commute to work or back, or even a trip down to that neighbourhood shop.

This brings us to the most hotly-discussed topic currently in the automotive world; vehicle crashworthiness and safety. Unsurprisingly, Volvo is the main cause that drove this great civilisation to realising why it remains as the most important part of your everyday motoring life. They’ve done it, and it remains an unbreakable byword that relates to safety.

he world is constantly changing, and change is either for the good, or worse. It all bores down to any topic that we can relate to. Take this for example; will China be a future superpower that is bigger than the USA despite going through a moment of economic slowdown currently? Or can Porsche attain another title next year at Le Mans after winning its 18th win this season? If positivity is imbedded in their minds, then it’s not to one’s surprise they can succeed at both present and future.

But let’s put all of that aside, for now. Imagine me saying that you can get all of this from something that comes from the land of the rising sun — coming from a marque that is famous for its oneness with machine philosophy. Producing vehicles that are not only both good to drive and to look at, but something that is capable of stopping you right before you take your eyes off the road for two seconds without realising a kid making its way across a suburban street?

Yes, this is where Mazda knew it’s time to give their best. An invention that not only boosts its appeal, but a creation that brings in more confidence at the wheel for all. And now they are proud to present you its latest triumphant innovation; i-Activsense.

i-Activsense is the new term that Mazda uses to display its modern safety technologies that supports your safe driving needs. It’s an umbrella term that covers a series of advanced safety technologies which make use of detection devices such as milliwave radars and cameras. These includes active safety technologies that support safe driving by helping the driver to recognise potential hazards, and pre-crash safety technologies which help to avert collisions or reduce their severity in situations where they can’t be avoided.

With six primary features forming the whole i-Activsense philosophy, Mazda is keen on standardising all of this feature across its latest vehicle lineup. Starting with the simple but yet effective Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), it optimises the distribution of light during night driving. While enhancing visibility, it also adjusts depending on vehicle speed and steering input. The system points the low-beams headlights in the direction the driver intends to travel.

In combination with discharge headlights, the system illuminates a greater distance and more brightly compared to halogen headlights, improving the driver's field of vision and visibility around curves and at intersections during night driving. Mated with the auto levelling function, the system offers a stable distribution of light unaffected by the vehicle's position.

Maintaining the illumination axis, the system helps to prevent drivers of oncoming vehicles from getting blinded when many people or a lot of luggage weighs down the back of the car, or when the vehicle position changes going over a bump or driving up a slope.

Combining with AFS, the High Beam Control (HBC) detects oncoming vehicles automatically, as it adjusts in between high and low beams during night driving. When activated, it provides the driver a clearer view ahead in dark areas, and sequentially turning off the high-beam function automatically if it detects a foreign vehicle’s light point.

To avoid excess fatigue at the wheel during long distance driving, drivers can make use of Mazda’s sophisticated Radar Cruise Control (MRCC). Using a millimetre wave radar to control and judge relative speed distance, it detects the car ahead automatically, and it maintains a variable speed depending on how fast or slow the frontal vehicle is travelling.

While maintaining a safe distance, the MRCC works alongside with the Distance Recognition Support System (DRSS) that displays an important visual over the heads-up display by keeping the driver informed and alert on the distance set during commute.

What if you’re wary of your rear surroundings that are — of course, always out of sight? Then do stay confident as the Rear Vehicle Monitoring System (RVM) is here to ensure you’re always in good hands while on the go. The system uses a rear-bumper mounted milliwave radar that measures the distance of cars approaching from the back, or in neighbouring lanes. To put it in a simple manner, it functions as a blind-spot monitoring system.

Unlike old side-detection systems of the past, where they suffered from constant fogging and reflection, the new quasi-milliwave radar is now weather resistant, and it also detects a wider area now — no matter at what speed and surrounding condition. Currently, the new RVM is able to work up to speeds of 15km/h, and it remains as a standard feature for the all-new Mazda6.

Coming back to the front, Mazda has even slotted in a Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW) system that detects vehicles or obstacles via its millimetre-wave based radar. In exercise, the system calculates the distance to the object in front, and automatically stops or applies the brakes if there is a pending collision. While doing so, it sounds an alarm to warn the driver, and displays a visual alert — prompting the driver to apply the brake.

But if carelessness falls in a place where a driver is veering off its lane, then the Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) ensures that the vehicle remains in place without accidentally going of its intended path. If conducted in an unintentional manner, it sounds a beep to notify that its going off course. To prevent this from happening, the system will disengage when the turn signal is activated. Making sure that the manoeuvre is intentional and safe enough to do so.

Forming from all of these passive safety traits, however, is Mazda’s all-new Smart City Brake Support feature. Working in both forward or reverse motion, the SCBS works at low speeds of up to 4km/h to 30km/h. A laser sensor will continuously monitor the surrounding that prepares the brakes to deliver maximum stopping power. If the driver fails to realise, the vehicle will brake itself autonomously, which significantly reduces the risk of low-speed collisions. Be it in heavy traffic, reversing out from your garage, or even a pedestrian crossing unawarely.

In reverse motion, the SCBS uses two ultrasonic sensors mounted on the bumper to keep track of obstacles behind during reverse. Working at speeds of 2km/h to 8km/h, it applies the brakes automatically if it detects a foreign object at the back — significantly reducing the risk of damage and injury. It will also sound an alarm, and subsequently cutting off engine power to bring the car to a complete stop.


For Mazda vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, the Acceleration Control works by curbing sudden acceleration if the driver accidentally steps on the accelerator by mistake. Working in harmony with SCBS, it checks on sudden acceleration by sounding an alarm first, and then automatically reducing engine output. Like SCBS, the system is also backed by a laser detector.

All in all, these are the recipes that form the whole i-Activsense. And it basically redefines Mazda’s already stronghold market position, which gives the marque another great boost in the safety sector. Combining with its succulent driving attributes, innovative design and overall quality, we are confident that Mazda will persevere on into a challenging future.

The Active and Pre-Crash Safety Technologies written here are designed to reduce damage or injuries resulting from accidents. However, each system has its limitations, and no safety system or combination of such systems can prevent all accidents. These systems are not a replacement for safe and attentive driving.

Please drive carefully at all times and do not rely on technology to prevent an accident. Not all of these systems are available on all models or in all markets, so do check with local Mazda dealer for further details. If you’re already an owner, do refer to your owners' manual for additional important system details, limitations and warnings.

Official note