i-ACTIVSENSE is a set of intelligent and active safety technologies that are provided in Mazda vehicles to aid the drivers in better driving and handling. The guys at Riverside Mazda helped us understand how this technology works using millimeter-wave radars, proximity sensors, cameras, and software that helps detect potential hazards and warn the driver to audio-visual signals, automatically activate lights or brakes and even corrects speed when required. This thus intelligently connects man to a machine through smart computing to help reduce errors and accidents due to these errors to a great extent. Before we proceed further though, it would be prudent to understand that these devices and technology are only in place to aid the driver in driving and nothing can fully replace one’s judgment and driving skills and it’s the responsibility of drivers to drive safe as per laws.
Lane Departure Warning System
The system uses a set of cameras that provide a video feed of the road ahead to an onboard computing system. This smart system uses a form of pattern recognition and can detect road markings and lanes, giving out warnings through audio, visual or vibration signals in case you are about to unintentionally switch lanes without using the turn indicators. Depending on the available configurations and settings for your model of vehicle you could also get an overridable correctional feature where the vehicle automatically aligns itself properly to keep you within your lane if no action from your side is detected after the warning. The Mazda CX-5 is one such vehicle that has an available Lane Departure Assist feature.
Radar Cruise Control
As you cruise along, sophisticated millimeter-wave radars look out for vehicles immediately ahead of you, quickly calculate the distance between your vehicles, measures your speed finally reduces or controls the speed of your vehicle in case you are approaching too fast, depending on the inputs. It’s a great way to help you maintain the required speed without hammering the brakes each time you need to slow down especially when you are enjoying that ride on the highways. This is an available feature in most Mazda vehicles and is standard in the highest trims of the CX-5 and CX-9.
This comprises two systems that use the radar technology. There’s the Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW) and the Rear Vehicle Monitoring System. The Forward Obstruction Warning is given when your vehicle detects an obstacle in front of your vehicle including other vehicles. You can then take the necessary action to mitigate the issue. Similarly, the Rear Vehicle Monitoring system uses a sophisticated quasi Millimeter-wave radar mounted on the rear bumpers, that uses sound pulses in addition to radio signals used in radars to detect a vehicle approaching too quickly from the rear. This is very useful when you want to change lanes and somehow not too convinced with the rear-view mirrors and external side mirrors, especially if you are driving one of the bigger vehicles.
Active Lighting and Beam Control
Most of the 2019 models on show at Riverside Mazda dealership had the Adaptive Front Lighting system that angles the headlighting for better illumination of the viewing area. The Active High Beam Control is just as useful and eliminates the need to manually dip your lights each time you see an approaching vehicle.