Mazda Smart City Brake Support vs. Smart Brake Support


Source: Ride by Kelley Blue Book

IRVINE, Calif. – Modern advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) are usually grouped together under an umbrella name like Mazda Smart Brake Support or Mazda Smart City Brake Support. When it comes to crafting descriptive names that convey what the technology does, Mazda does a better job than some automakers.

For example, you can tell that one of the names above pertains to braking-related ADAS technology designed to work in the city. But does it work solely in the city? What about in the suburbs? Or a parking lot at a rural farm stand selling fresh fruits and veggies? And does the system without “city” in its name work in an urban environment?

Let’s answer these questions and more by comparing Mazda Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) to Mazda Smart Brake Support (SBS).

What is Mazda Smart City Brake Support?

Essentially, Mazda Smart City Brake Support is a forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking system that works at lower speeds.

When the technology first came out, it worked when the vehicle was traveling below 18.5 mph. A laser mounted behind and at the top of the windshield monitors traffic ahead. If the traffic slows or stops and you’re not paying attention, like when you’re checking your email or Twitter during the morning commute, SCBS springs into action.

First, it primes the braking system so that when you finally bother to glance up and react by slamming your foot on the brake pedal, you’ll get full braking power (and probably rear-ended, too).

Second, if you don’t bother looking at the road ahead, the system will automatically brake the vehicle. This action will either stop the Mazda before a collision can occur or slow it down in order to minimize the potential for damage and injury.

Note that the original version of SCBS did not issue a forward collision warning notification. Nor does it identify pedestrians, cyclists, or other obstacles.

Today, however, Mazda offers Advanced Smart City Brake Support. It includes pedestrian detection and works at vehicle speeds up to 50 mph. This more advanced system is standard on the 2020 Mazda CX-5 and 2020 Mazda6. With the 2020 Mazda CX-9, it includes nighttime pedestrian detection.

What is Mazda Smart Brake Support?

Mazda Smart Brake Support takes over where Smart City Brake Support leaves off. The main difference is that it works at higher vehicle speeds and uses a radar sensor installed behind the grille.

Like the low-speed version of the technology, SBS primes the brakes for maximum stopping power if and when the driver steps on them. It also activates automatic emergency braking if the driver fails to respond, stopping the Mazda before impact or slowing it down to reduce the effects of a collision.

The two systems co-exist in the same vehicle. However, unlike the low-speed version of the technology, SBS includes a forward-collision warning system. That’s why, lately, Mazda calls this more sophisticated version of the technology Smart Brake Support with Collision Warning. It applies this description to the 2020 Mazda CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9, as well as the Mazda Mazda6.

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