Over the last eight years, Mazda has developed a software system that measures a huge range of data, including throttle position and steering wheel angle, to subtly smooth out driver inputs by adjusting its SkyActiv engines’ torque by miniscule amounts in a matter of milliseconds. By reducing the amount of fuel burnt, a vehicle’s weight distribution is shifted slightly forward to exert more downforce on the car’s driven and steering front wheels.
According to The Motor Report, a demonstration at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway in California showed a demonstration Mazda6 running the pre-production software — with no other suspension or engine hardware needed — with demonstrable results that are too small for drivers or passengers to feel, but that nonetheless have a positive effect on front-end grip.
Detecting steering wheel input of as little as one degree and with a reaction time of under 50 milliseconds, G-Vectoring Control works any time that there is an active throttle input and operates independently of the car’s existing electronic stability control or traction control software. It’s due to debut on the upcoming Mazda3 before the end of the year, and will likely be rolled out to a future Mazda6 as well.
The technology is based on an engineering principle called ‘minimum jerk theory’, which allows the human body to control its movements fluidly and without any sudden directional changes that might cause discomfort — but that can also be applied to make driving safer and more comfortable. Here’s a video demonstrating the subtle difference with G-Vectoring Control on and off from GoAuto:
P.S in case you were thinking you’d heard of minimum jerk theory before, you might have, sort of — in Silicon Valley.