Next year, Mazda is planning to release a new car that could potentially save the driver’s life if there is a sudden and unexpected accident behind the wheel.
Mazda is planning to introduce a safety feature that could take over from an incapacitated driver, hopefully saving lives in the occasion of an unexpected accident on the roads.
According to the Japan Times, the Mazda Co-Pilot system will detect when an intervention is necessary based on the driver’s posture and line of sight. Once judged to be required, it kicks into action by safely bringing the vehicle to a stop at the side of the road, and automatically making a call to the emergency services. You can see the system in action in the video below:
The system was unveiled for the first time back in June, but it has now been confirmed that the very first car with Mazda Co-Pilot technology will be introduced in 2022. More advanced technology, which can change lanes automatically when on a motorway, will be introduced later, in 2025.
Takahiro Tochioka, who devised the new system, stated: “We aim (for the car) to protect (the driver) and ensure safety like, an aircraft’s co-pilot.”
There are more and more examples of automated driving system being introduced to vehicles, and while their raison d’être is usually claimed to be for safety reasons rather than pure convenience, there are still fears that such technology could exacerbate these worries rather than alleviating them; this was particularly evidenced when the publication Consumer Reports claimed to have “tricked” a Tesla into self-driving when nobody at all was behind the wheel. Such systems will surely require a strong level of testing and oversight, but if they work as intended then lives could undoubtedly be saved.