The Jinba Ittai philosophy promotes oneness between the driver and the car. Mazda applied this way of thinking, thus allowing the driver to be in a relaxed state and ready to control the vehicle with every command. The first step in achieving this is to provide the ideal driving position.
Together with Mazda’s human-centric design philosophy, Jinba Ittai establishes a natural and precise communication between the driver and the car. This allows the driver to concentrate more in maneuvering the car while experiencing the joy of driving.
Proper driving posture
In order to attain a proper driving posture, the angles of the body joints should be comfortable for the driver, which means no force should be applied to the joints. This enables precise driving with less fatigue even on long drives. It’s like an astronaut in space with zero gravity — relaxed, weightless, and supported by the cushions of the seat.
But remember that gravity pulls our body down whether we like it or not, so ideal driving posture is the key to a relaxed driving position. In addition to that, muscles should also be positioned in such a way that little effort is needed from them to perform an operation quickly and accurately.
The steering wheel angle, backrest incline, seat height, and pedal distance should all be positioned accordingly to achieve the ideal driving posture. All of these are adjustable in every Mazda vehicle, from the Mazda2 subcompact to the CX-9 premium crossover.
Comfortable Range of Vision
The height of the seat is important in determining the ideal driving position. The driver should have a wide range of vision of the road while keeping the instrument clusters in view and vehicle controls within reach. The tilt of the steering wheel can also be adjusted to support this, specially for bigger individuals.
Mazda’s KODO design moves the A-pillar further back than most cars. Along with the hood’s relative angle from the line-of-sight, it gives the driver an unimpeded view of the road ahead. This is advantageous during highway runs as drivers look far ahead to anticipate danger effectively. On the other hand, it’s also optimal for tight city maneuvers in order to avoid obstacles and accidents with pedestrians.
With better driving view comes better judgment for the driver, whether he or she’s on a highway or in a slow-paced traffic.
Mazda’s Optimum Design
Each Mazda vehicle has a cockpit layout designed to match the Jinba Ittai experience. To start, the pedals are aligned with the body so that the heel of the right foot is resting between the brake and accelerator pedals, enabling the driver to switch between the two with ease. This is ideal when driving in smaller thoroughfares such as in busy city streets or municipal roads where there’s constant braking and accelerating.
In addition, Mazda cars are equipped with organ-type accelerator pedals. This allows the driver to rest his or her foot in a relaxed manner, while letting its natural downward movement press the pedal. This design is relatively safer, as pedal mix-ups are less likely to happen.
The whole dashboard design of Mazda vehicles, which includes the placement of buttons and knobs, is also driver-centric and ergonomic. With this, less movement is required from the driver when adjusting the side mirrors, selecting music, or even locking the doors just to name a few. The minimal action adds to the overall comfort of the one behind the steering wheel.