2020 CX-5 Smart Braking...No cross traffic detection?

Is the smart braking system built into this i-ACTIVSENSE package unable to detect vehicles crossing over in front of you at 90 degrees perpendicular to your direction of travel? (t-bone collisions)

Something happened to me last night in a parking lot where I was going about 10 mph down the normal one-way direction of traffic down a row, when suddenly a big Suburban abruptly backed out of a parking space from my left across in front of me to move into a parking spot to my right. The older man behind the wheel of the Suburban had his head turned looking out his passenger side window or his backup camera screen the whole time , never looked toward the direction of oncoming traffic and my CX-5's warning and emergency systems did diddly squat. Nothing. I had to panic stop myself as the old man hesitated to complete backing into the other spot and left the front half of his vehicle still stuck halfway out into the lane and when I honked, he finally looked out his driver's side window and probably nearly had a heart attack when he realized what he'd done. Good thing the antilock brakes on the CX-5 do work darn good, but the i-ACTIVSENSE stuff was paying about as much or even less attention to the traffic situation than the old geezer in that Suburban was. I'm beginning to wonder if this so-called safety system package is a farce, or if something is wrong with my new car. The smart cruise control does work good. The automatic headlight dimming and the automatic windshield washers work well too, but from what I've seen so far, first the lane keeping..... and now the emergency braking, suck and are proving utterly worthless.
 
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Occupied Calif.
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2019 CX 5 GT-R
I had the Smart Braking System flash a big warning on my heads up display one time when someone made a left turn in front of me when they should have waited until I passed. It wasn't close enough that I needed to panic stop but close enough that I thought if I was going faster and not paying attention I could have T boned them.
The vehicle didn't apply the brakes for me, maybe because it was close enough to trigger the warning but not so close that the system needed to intervene in my behalf.

Being lulled by the so called safety features that today's cars have is a dangerous mindset. As good as some of these automatic features are, they are far, far from perfect. Forget that you even have it.
Parking lots are an extremely hazardous driving environment. Stay in condition yellow at all times with your speed down and head on a swivel. Expect that a good percentage of drivers and pedestrians are retards and not paying attention or looking at their phones. You want to have the mindset of a fighter pilot; not in an aggressive way but constantly scanning for threats. Of which there are plenty.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
As far as I'm aware, forward cross traffic alert (FCTA) is not available on the CX-5 yet. The US owner's manual lists all available safety tech for US models here, and only rear cross traffic alert is mentioned. I don't think it's a matter of the i-Activsense suite not working, the CX-5 just doesn't have that feature yet.

The new Mazda3 and CX-30 appear to have FCTA, so I would assume that a future MY of CX-5 will eventually get it.

One thing to note is that the terminology for safety systems in vehicles these days is all over the map. For example, "lane keep assist" means different things to different manufacturers. This causes confusion when drivers move between brands - they get used to what "lane keep assist" means with their previous brand and then assume that it means the same thing with their current brand, but it often does not. To confuse the issue even further, some manufacturers (Mazda included) will offer some driver assist features in specific markets, and omit them in others. For example, I believe EU CX-5s have actual lane-centering assist systems, while NA CX-5s do not.

FYI, you can read up on Mazda's i-Activsense systems here. There are a few links at the bottom that further explain some of the other systems and how they are intended to work.
 
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Virginia
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2021 CX-5 White
Is the smart braking system built into this i-ACTIVSENSE package unable to detect vehicles crossing over in front of you at 90 degrees perpendicular to your direction of travel? (t-bone collisions)

Something happened to me last night in a parking lot where I was going about 10 mph down the normal one-way direction of traffic down a row, when suddenly a big Suburban abruptly backed out of a parking space from my left across in front of me to move into a parking spot to my right. The older man behind the wheel of the Suburban had his head turned looking out his passenger side window or his backup camera screen the whole time , never looked toward the direction of oncoming traffic and my CX-5's warning and emergency systems did diddly squat. Nothing. I had to panic stop myself as the old man hesitated to complete backing into the other spot and left the front half of his vehicle still stuck halfway out into the lane and when I honked, he finally looked out his driver's side window and probably nearly had a heart attack when he realized what he'd done. Good thing the antilock brakes on the CX-5 do work darn good, but the i-ACTIVSENSE stuff was paying about as much or even less attention to the traffic situation than the old geezer in that Suburban was. I'm beginning to wonder if this so-called safety system package is a farce, or if something is wrong with my new car. The smart cruise control does work good. The automatic headlight dimming and the automatic windshield washers work well too, but from what I've seen so far, first the lane keeping..... and now the emergency braking, suck and are proving utterly worthless.

Based on the scenario described above, I believe that this is out of the sweet spot of the Mazda i-ACTIVSENSE Smart Braking System, based on my experience with these driver support systems since 2006 as implemented by Acura, Mazda and Subaru. They all sort of work the same way, although the sensors used may vary, and the software certainly varies.

In all my reading, the SBS does not do cross traffic well, but is much more suited for objects travelling ahead of the vehicle, and monitoring closing distances to avoid collision. In addition, there are so many conditions where SBS does not work...see the notes under SBS. I can find no no description of front crossing perpendicular traffic as you describe with the exception of this line in the FSC
  • A person or object bursts onto the road from the shoulder or cuts right in front of you.
You could have been driving at less than 10 mph, or you were steering, braking or accelerating, or the FSC did not have a good view of taillights. My experience with other systems is that if you are actively driving, which you were, active safety systems do not kick in until the very last moment to prevent unintended reactions. For example, if you are driving down a steep hill, and there are steel plates on the road at the bottom of the hill, front radar can cause the brakes to activate because the system misinterprets the car as moving at speed toward a large, immovable target. The same thing can happen with metal guardrails on a certain type of curve. I think the software interprets steering, acceleration and braking inputs as a measure of driver control and awareness.

You probably are very familiar with all this, and I hope I am not insulting you with this explanation (which is partly therapeutic for me as I try to figure out the new 21 CX-5). I thought this was good explanation of SBS System, but certainly not a thorough one.

Mazda also loves the alphabet soup approach of similar sounding but different support systems which use a combination of sensors including cameras, front facing millimeter wave radar, ultrasonic sensors, such as SBS (Smart Braking System), SCBS (Smart City Braking System), ASCBS (Advanced SCBS), SCBS-F (SCBS Forward), SCBS-R (SCBS Reverse), RCTA (Rear Cross Traffic Alert), BSM (Blind Spot Monitoring), MRCC (Mazda Radar Cruise Control), etc.

As far as nomenclature goes, i-ACTIVSENSE appears to be the Mazda collective term for its driver support systems which includes both warnings and active safety measures such as emergency braking. i-ACTIVSENSE uses a combination of the FSC (Forward Sensing Camera) and radar sensors such as the front facing MRCC millimeter wave radars, and the BSM radar sensors in the rear bumper. The same BSM sensors change radar lobe shapes to from left and right BSM monitoring to a 180 degree RCTA rearward view. RCTA is a warning, but not active braking. The rear active braking seems to mostly depend on the ultrasonic bumper sensors. You will also see the FSC is the foundation for many other driver support systems including your nemesis LAS (Lane-keeping Assist System) which I agree is worthless in default function because you have already departed the lane.

i-ACTIVSENSE
Advanced SCBS
SCBS-F
SCBS-R
SBS
FSC
Radar Sensor Front
MRCC
Radar Sensor Rear
Ultrasonic Sensor Rear

and this is only about half of the definitions, each with its own set of operating and non-operating conditions and notes.