Vehicle Development through “Kansei” Engineering 2003-01-0125
The Mazda MX-5 Miata (Hirai et al. 1990) has been successfully developed to become an innovative and responsive vehicle during the ten years since it was brought into the market. And with “Kansei” engineering incorporated within it, it has gained the praise of many people in the automobile industry as well as many consumers1.
This paper outlines how “Kansei” and the “oneness between horse and rider” were defined, how “Kansei” engineering was incorporated into the man-machine system, how this interface should make the driver feel the “Kansei”, how it was incorporated into engineering drawing, and how the MX-5 was brought into mass production.
This paper also mentions what kinds of Japanese culture and development philosophies the development leader adopted to build cultural quality and craftsmanship into the product while operating within the highly systemized and specialized engineering processes of today. This paper also delivers key messages from the development leader to create such an innovative and responsive vehicle.
In the 21st century, it is getting harder to produce unique products, while “therapeutic” products are being required. Vehicle development using “Kansei” engineering means not only delivering the vehicle which customers long for, but also training engineers to have both sensitivity and creativity. An aim of this paper is therefore to inspire and encourage engineers who want to develop innovative and responsive vehicles.