Today’s cars are filled with incredible safety technology. One of these advances is blind-spot monitoring which has prevented countless accidents and possibly much worse. If your car research includes Mazda cars and crossovers, then you’ll want to learn more about Mazda Blind-Spot Monitoring.
What Is Blind Spot Monitoring?
If you’ve spent any time behind the wheel, you’ve no doubt encountered blind spots. Early approaches to solving this problem involved reshaped side-view mirrors, adjustments to the mirror viewing angle, and even tiny convex mirrors to supplement side-view mirrors. Do you notice a theme? It’s all about the mirrors. But in the early years of the 21st century, clever automotive engineers sought a technological solution, and blind-spot monitoring is born.
Blind-spot monitoring technology varies among different manufacturers, but for the most part, each system works the same way. A network of cameras, radar, and sensors detect adjacent moving vehicles that may be undetected in a side-view mirror. Blind-spot monitoring even works at nighttime when a glance at the side view mirror or turn of the head may be less helpful. If you look carefully at a blind-spot monitor-equipped car, you’ll see a tiny camera under the side-view mirror and small sensors built into the rear bumper.
If the system determines a vehicle is in your blind spot, a warning will indicate this hazard. Depending on the manufacturer, this alert may come as a visual cue on the front pilar or in the side-view mirror. Some cars offer an audible warning, while others may provide a vibrating steering wheel or driver’s seat. Regardless of the signal type, the idea is to prevent a driver from making a tragic lane change. Most systems use two levels of warning. The first (typically via a visual alert) lets you know that there’s a car in a blind spot. The second alert (which may involve a flashing light, beeping noise, or vibration) gets activated when the turn signal is engaged, and there’s an adjacent car.
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First Uses of Blind-Spot Monitoring
It’s no surprise, but the modern blind-spot monitoring system was first developed by Volvo and first saw service in the 2007 Volvo S80 sedan. Ford, which owned Volvo at the time, later used the Volvo system in its own vehicles.
Significantly. Mazda became the first Japanese automaker to offer blind-spot monitoring. The feature debuted in the top-tier versions of the 2008 CX-9 crossover. Beginning with the 2013 model year, Mazda Blind Spot Monitoring was expanded to other vehicles in the lineup.
How Does Mazda Blind Spot Monitoring Work?
Mazda Blind Spot Monitoring activates when an approaching car enters the detection zone (which is about 150 feet behind the vehicle). At this time, a warning icon will illuminate inside the side-view mirror (on the side of the approaching car). This acts as a first-step warning that there is a vehicle in the blind spot.
Once the turn signal is engaged (and with the warning icon already illuminated), an audible alert will be heard. This second-step warning means making a lane change is unsafe. If the car is equipped with the Mazda Active Driving Display, an additional alert will appear in the driver’s line of sight via this head-up display technology.
Mazda cautions that its blind-spot monitoring system is not perfect (although the company puts this disclaimer in more formal language). In other words, bad weather like rain or snow may affect the system’s effectiveness. In addition, the blind-spot monitor may not detect nearby vehicles if the road is too wide or too narrow. Also, approaching vehicles driving at almost the same speed as the Mazda may not be visible to the system either.
Further, the automaker advises drivers to visually check for a vehicle before making a lane change and not to rely solely on the blind-spot system. All carmakers use similar warning language.
Mazda Blind Spot Monitoring is part of the automaker’s i-Activesense suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) like automatic emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alert. If you haven’t been car shopping in a while, ADAS (and similar terms) is the buzzword among car builders and marketers.
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Blind Spot Monitoring and Mazda Models
Now that we’ve reviewed Mazda Blind Spot Monitoring in detail let’s look at how this safety system appears in the automaker’s lineup. These specs are for new models; if you’re looking at used Mazdas, be sure to check the car’s equipment list.
Mazda’s entry-level and smallest crossover comes in only one trim (Sport) and includes blind-spot monitoring as standard equipment.
The company’s newest vehicle includes Mazda Blind Sport Monitoring on all trims, except for the base CX-30. You’ll have to step up to at least the Select trim for this safety system. The Active Driving Display (with a blind-spot alert on the head-up display) is standard on the Premium, Turbo Premium, and Premium Plus trims.
All models of the company’s best-selling vehicle, a crossover, include blind-spot monitoring as standard equipment.
Mazda’s largest crossover includes blind-spot monitoring across all five trims. The Active Driving Display is standard on the Grand Touring and Signature versions of the CX-9.
Mazda’s compact sedan comes in seven different trims; all but the bottom two include blind-spot monitoring as standard equipment. Start with the Select version if you want a blind-spot monitor.
The Mazda3 Hatchback is available in six different trims. Do you want blind-spot monitoring? You guessed the answer. Skip the base version, as the Select level, and above Hatchbacks includes the feature.
The automaker keeps it simple with the six sedans. All versions include blind-spot monitoring. The Active Driving Display is standard on the Grand Touring Reserve, Carbon Edition, and Signature versions of the 6.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
All versions of Mazda’s iconic MX-5 Miata include blind-spot monitoring.
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Future Mazda Vehicles
Given the company’s history with safety systems and the need to remain competitive, it’s safe to say that its future vehicles will have Mazda Blind Spot Monitoring. Upcoming Mazda models include the MX-30 EV and the MX-30 Plug-In Hybrid. There’s also a redesigned Mazda 6 sedan in the works.
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