Mazda gives thought to every little detail of vehicle ownership.
Have you ever tried to get into the trunk of your Mazda CX-30 quickly when you forget something for an important meeting, only to stand around like an idiot while the motorized tailgate seemingly takes a decade to open? Then when you hit the close button, you age another ten years? If you haven't, consider yourself lucky, but for those who have experienced it, Mazda has developed a solution in the form of a two-speed motorized trunk lid design.
The concept is simple and is designed to work with hands-free entry into the back of your Mazda. CarBuzz discovered patent filings by Mazda with the USPTO in which the automaker describes a two-speed motor for opening and closing the trunk.
By detecting the proximity of the key to the vehicle, the car will decide at which speed to open or close the rear aperture. When the key, presumably in the hand or pocket of the driver, is within a range deemed too close - i.e. when swiping a foot under the rear bumper - the trunk lid will open or close at an average of 11.8-15.7 inches per second.
But if the operator takes a step back, the vehicle will sense the change in range and increase the speed of the tailgate to 17.7-21.6 inches per second - approximately 50% quicker than the standard operating speed.
Mazda claims that this configuration reduces the likelihood of "contact between the opening and closing body and the obstacle" and that "the motion performed by the user can be detected reliably."
Predictability, or a lack thereof, is, after all, a key frustration with modern technology - we want something to behave as we expect it to. Period.
In the age where tailgates can also be remotely operated, Mazda makes a provision for an "image capturing means," likely a sensor of sorts that can detect if a person - not holding the key - is too close, reducing the speed at which the rear hatch opens.
This isn't dissimilar to the sensor system Rolls-Royce wants to employ on its suicide doors going forward and would have other benefits in terms of automatically stopping the rear hatch from opening too high in a space in which roof height is limited.
This may seem like a trivial invention, but it's innovation in the most Mazda way imaginable. This is a company that has seen a flaw created by modern technology and has found a solution to make life easier. Innovation in its purest form is removing the complexity or inconvenience from one's life, which is precisely what Mazda is seeking to do here, in the same way that Polestar lets you enter your car without even trying to find a key fob to unlock it, and then letting you simply drive away without needing to press a start button. By speeding up the time we wait for the hatch to open or close, Mazda will make our lives just a little simpler. We approve.