Mazda Seems to be Against Autonomous Car Tech in Latest Ad
Self-driving cars. The term that once elicited a scene from the future complete with erratically dispersed pods transporting people from one destination to the next, is quickly becoming very close to reality. While the overall scene will likely be much more controlled and less chaotic, the race to be the first automaker to mass produce autonomous driving cars is on. With the list of automotive brands entering this race each day, it seems that everyone wants in on the driverless car action. The only automaker we don’t see chomping at the bit to rule the self-driving car world is Mazda. Charlotte residents may not be zoom-zooming around town in their self-propelled Mazda3 anytime soon, or at all for that matter. Not only has Mazda not thrown its hat in the ring alongside of other major automotive brands, but its latest ad suggests that the company is against the technology altogether. That leads us to wonder, what gives? Why, when everyone else is trying so desperately to be the pioneer of the autonomous driving car, does Mazda not seem at all interested in the prospect?
The Commercial That Has Everyone Talking In the first week of January, as more automotive manufacturers were busy announcing strategic partnerships with tech companies in the hopes of deploying safe and effective driverless cars, Mazda debuted its newest campaign, “Drive Together.” The foundation of the message is based on the Japanese phrase, Jinba Ittai, which refers to the oneness between an archer and his horse. The phrase evokes plenty of feelings and strong emotions on its own, but when coupled with the rest of Mazda’s message – it has the ability to tug on the heartstrings of just about anyone (perhaps even the CEO of Tesla). The CEO of Mazda Motor UK, Claire Andrews, offered this piece of wisdom regarding Mazda’s apparent intentional move to steer clear or driverless car technology: “As other brands limit the act of driving through technological changes, our role is to create cars that bring the driver and their car closer together. Our designers and engineers are continually striving to perfect this. We believe effective communication between man and machine not only makes driving safer, but also more satisfying, more rewarding and more fun. We want people driving our cars, not being passengers. The Drive Together campaign highlights the bond between car and driver.” While the majority of people are excited for the impending change in how we relate to our cars, trucks, and SUVs, there are still plenty of individuals resisting the driverless car movement.
Two Sides to Every Story When it comes to driving, or in this case not driving, which side of the aisle do you fall on? Are you the person who embraces innovation as a part of modern day society, or someone who rejects it as ignorant over-consumption of the simple way of life? Like anything in life, there are two sides to every story. The statement made by Andrews suggests that Mazda is against the idea of mass-produced self-driving cars, but things can certainly change. As more automakers jump on the bandwagon to vehicles that require zero human input, Mazda may feel pressure to do the same.
Side One: Autonomous Cars are Safer – On the one hand, Volvo has made headlines with its goal to eliminate vehicular accidents by the year 2020, and has pursued autonomous driving technology as a way to successfully achieve that goal. The luxury automaker has repeatedly pointed out the amount of automotive accidents caused due to human error, and believes that the only way to eliminate car wrecks from taking place, is by taking the driver out of the equation. While the technology is still relatively new and undergoing viability testing around the globe, we won’t know for certain whether Volvo’s dream of zero deaths from auto accidents will be achieved until the final cars are out on the road.
Side Two: Autonomous Cars Are NOT Safe – The recent statement made by the CEO of Mazda UK, makes the assumption that the only way to maintain the high level of safety in cars is by keeping people behind the wheel. Andrews’ statement is just one part of this equation, with the other half consisting of Mazda’s new campaign efforts, which are now in full swing.
Which Side is Correct? Mazda’s “Drive Together” campaign seems adamant in keeping humans and cars working together, and not to have cars working for the humans. While we doubt that Mazda’s commercial and print ads will stop the latest in-vehicle innovation from being perfected and eventually released, it may give some buyers pause regarding how far we should allow technology to take us.
Still Unsure? Mazda Offers a CompromiseWith Mazda’s new campaign against fully autonomous vehicles just released in early January, it is interesting to look back at the end of December when the Japanese automaker announced a new system that it is trying to bring to the market. Known as Active Driving Display, Mazda’s new technology is designed to better connect drivers to their vehicles. The most interesting thing about it, is that it utilizes autonomous technology similar to that found in fighter planes. The driver still remains situated behind the wheel, and is able to retain control over the car, but the vehicle will still be capable of navigating the roads without driver input. As every other car manufacturer remains laser focused on putting driverless vehicles on the road, Mazda is the only one addressing the true concerns of consumers. While most people are excited for the change, many are hesitant to accept autonomous cars and their ability to keep drivers and passengers safe in transit. Mazda addresses those concerns with the new Active Driving Display, and is leading the world of driverless cars in a whole new direction. Whether you are fully on board with the self-driving car movement, or are one of the skeptics out there, Mazda has undeniably found a sweet spot that both sides of the aisle can be comfortable accepting. It isn’t going to stop other companies from racing one another to the dealer showroom, but it will give people more confidence and assurance from behind the steering wheel.