Facelifted Mazda 3 ushers in Oz-honed traffic sign recognition tech

By Byron Mathioudakis, 31 Jul 2016 Car News

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Facelifted Mazda 3 ushers in Oz-honed traffic sign recognition tech

A unique collaboration between Mazda Australia and the Zoom Zoom brand’s head office in Hiroshima produces Down Under-friendly road sign recognition technology

ADVANCED technology that can read traffic signs has just been made available in the facelifted Mazda 3 Series II, making it one of just a small handful of models to do so in Australia.

According to Mazda Australia sales and marketing boss, Alastair Doak, the Traffic Sign Recognition system (TSR) has been honed in this country for well over a year in prototype testing.

A unique collaboration between the local outfit and its Japan-based parent company, Mazda Motor Corporation (MMC), the shakedown ensured reliability and dependability in our demanding environment.

As a result, the system has been especially designed to cope with our unique signage, as well as their positioning, in order to hopefully recognise these better than most systems in other vehicles. 

“We had a prototype car here 18 months ago,” Doak revealed at the Mazda 3 facelift launch in Brisbane. “And we had a team of engineers here for two or three weeks.

Mazda 3 interior

“We drove up to Sydney and Brisbane (from our headquarters in suburban Melbourne), testing it the whole time and adjusting the system, and logging all the data points, and they made it work.”

The information that the TSR system gleans is displayed in the Mazda 3’s newly revised instrumentation and head-up displays, as part of the satellite navigation system.

Doak added that the TSR system isn’t the only new tech that has had the Australianisation treatment.

“You know, it’s the same with the new Adaptive LED headlights – for those, another team from Japan was also out 18 months before that.

“And the suspension changes were the same too – yet again, a Japanese team were here last year and spent a week with us driving up and down challenging roads, logging all the suspension info, and that’s been implemented here in the new Mazda 3 Series II.

Mr Doak said that most of the learnings garnered from the Australian experience have been applied to 3s sold in other markets around the world.

“So the changes… are the same (for all 3s sold globally) but tuned specifically for Australia,” he explained. “We always have engineers out – it’s just we don’t make a huge song and dance about it.