So this is actually kinda big, but I feel like a lot of people will focus on their announcing a production HCCI engine for 2019 (which is interesting in its own way, and the front page already covered that to an extent, although that wasn’t confirmed yet), not one sentence they buried in the press release.
From 2019, Mazda will begin introducing electric vehicles and other electric drive technologies in regions that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution.
Well, that’s a big turnaround, from things that were literally released last week, about how Mazda’s focusing on ICE over EVs. (Of course, Mazda’s announcement of a partnership with Toyota on EVs also undermined that.)
And, the fact that they’re aiming them at “regions that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation” also tells me that maybe this won’t be a compliance car? (Realistically, it’s going to be a compliance car, but LET ME DREAM, OK?)
Also, an even more buried lede, although one that I feel that Oppositelock is less interested in:
Begin testing of autonomous driving technologies currently being developed in line with Mazda’s human-centered Mazda Co-Pilot Concept*2 in 2020, aiming to make the system standard on all models by 2025
*2 Mazda’s human-centered self-driving technology development concept. People enjoy driving while being revitalized mentally and physically. Meanwhile the car is driving “virtually” with a firm grasp of the movements of the driver and the car. In unexpected situations, such as a sudden loss of consciousness, the car will override the driver, automatically contact emergency services and drive safely to the most appropriate location.
What’s interesting about these claims is that they’re not going for the tech press’s goal of full autonomy (which is fiendishly difficult). Instead, they’re going for what Alex Roy describes as “augmented driving” or “driving envelope protections” - the driver’s still in control, but if they exceed safe boundaries, the systems intervene to save their ass, much like the flight envelope protections present in some aircraft.