As we slowly march towards a world where our cars will drive for us, there will be mishaps. Systems will act up, not behave has intended or we'll simply forget to turn them on. We all remember when Volvo tested the S60's City Safety system. Now Mazda has had an issue of its own.

During a test of a Mazda CX-5's Smart City Brake Support on a dealership lot in Japan, a prospective customer and a dealership employee were injured when they hit a urethane barrier used for testing the system. According to Bloomberg, which spoke with the Saitama Prefectural Police, the impact with the barrier left the customer with an injured neck while the dealership employee suffered a fractured arm. Considering the injuries, we imagine this wasn't a small barrier.

"For any safety function, it's impossible to be 100-percent free of accidents. These technical functions aren't always the easiest to understand," IHS Automotive auto parts analyst, Hiroshi Ataka told Bloomberg.

Mazda's Smart City Brake Support is available as standard equipment on the Mazda6 Grand Touring and as an optional extra on the CX-5 and Mazda3, in the US market. A Mazda spokesperson in Japan told Bloomberg that it will be cooperating with the local authorities and that the company will not comment on any other issues involving Smart City Brake Support at this time.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      Jamie Elmhirst
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm quite familiar with this system as a Mazda salesperson and have participated in a demonstration like this. The system only works no ZERO steering and brake input. If you flinch and tap the brakes or move the steering wheel, YOU the driver are back in full control. So its entirely likely that the customer lost their nerve at the last second, touched the brakes and cancelled the Smart City Brake Support system from operating. Crash.
        CH
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jamie Elmhirst
        Isn't it also a low-speed collision avoidance system that's active only up to 30 km/h (19 mph)? The injuries reported are more than one would expect in a low speed frontal collision with seat belts in use.. I suspect driver error as well, and more than one..
          john96xlt
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CH
          Exactly what I was thinking, just how fast were they going to cause that much injury?
        chanonissan
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jamie Elmhirst
        well they should have made it to work in tandem with driver, suppose the driver made the mistake and press the accelerator, the system should be able to override the mistake, if it cannot then it not smart.
          Jamie Elmhirst
          • 1 Year Ago
          @chanonissan
          The purpose of the system is to provide automatic braking in a situation where the driver isn't paying attention/is in medical distress/etc. It's not a driving substitute. It will not override your own inputs. I personally think its insane to have a customer demonstrate safety systems. "Hey buddy! Let's see how these airbags work."
        rollie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jamie Elmhirst
        "SMART" ?????
      sowman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Couldn't they use a large cardboard box to demonstrate the test?
        John
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sowman
        No, no. This is Japan. Aim the car at a brick wall and floor it. What could possible go wrong?
      Maciej Jackiewicz
      • 1 Year Ago
      There are two probable causes as to how this happened. 1. Like in the Mercedes and Volvo presentations, the system was accidentally switched to OFF 2. The conditions weren't correct for the auto-brake to kick in. (See TopGear episode where Jeremy and James test small SUVs, Jeremy discovers the auto-brake on the CX-5, then tries to recreate it and fails.)
        Matthew Dawson
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Maciej Jackiewicz
        I think the reason the CX-5 failed to stop the second time was because Jeremy turned into the Tiguan, and the forward-aiming sensor didn't 'see' the car until it was too late to react. When the worked the first time, he was pretty much driving straight at a bush, so the sensors could detect it. It's possible the same thing happened here, they turned into the barrier too quickly rather than driving straight at it.
        futurecars
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Maciej Jackiewicz
        probably causes? it should not happen, mazda need to fix this system with immediate effect.
      NeO
      • 1 Year Ago
      The car needs to do all these for me so I can text and drive without hassles, omgawd!!!!
      Poe
      • 1 Year Ago
      The article states that Mazda's Smart City Brake Support is OPTIONAL equipment on the CX-5. How much do you want to bet that they were in one that was not so equipped. All of the driver aids in the world can't fix stupid.
      bullitt2605
      • 1 Year Ago
      Dude to driver slow down there's a barrier up ahead you might want to slow down Dude stop! Crash................. Dude to driver again why didn't you listen to my warnings? Driver what warnings? Dude I texted you like 4 time about the barrier!!!
      rollie
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Get out". From the movie with Arnold as the "Terminator".
      ND
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the result of people rely too much in technology when there's a very low tech solution to it... a foot on the brakes!!!
      ChaosphereIX
      • 1 Year Ago
      please automakers, do away with all this cost-adding wizardry. It is all stat-padding anyways, something for the salesman to blab on about in the showrooms. There is a much better method, foot on brake and eyes to watch for obstacle. We dont need more computer nannies in our vehicles, we need better drivers. Perhaps stricter penalties for driving infractions and at-fault accidents could shake some good drivers out of the mix?
        Sean Conrad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ChaosphereIX
        I would bet that people said the same thing about airbags and seatbelts back in the day. Not to say these are the same things.
      Card13
      • 1 Year Ago
      We don't need extra safety systems because it will just make drivers lazier and cause more accidents. Just look at how few accidents there were 30 years ago. Oh wait....
      GR
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good news, people who don't like to drive! Why worry about the cost and the unreliable technology of automatic braking systems? There is already a vehicle available that can automatically brake for you! In fact, it drives without your input at all! It's also a fraction of the cost of owning your current car! Amazing! What is this marvelous vehicle called??? It's called THE BUS.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
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