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Isuzu proves Philippine roads can be safe

Isuzu proves Philippine roads can be safe

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes


The Philippines, with 35 road crash fatalities per day or an estimated 12,690 fatalities in a year, may not have the safest roads in the world; but with vehicles like the latest Isuzu D-Max and mu-X, we may have the potential to be like Norway or even Switzerland.

Recently, Isuzu Philippines Corporation gave us a chance to explore this potential with a two-day media drive to Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan and Zambales, highlighting the vehicles’ Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS).

ADAS in Tarlac

From Manila, we first headed to New Clark City Sports Complex in Capas, Tarlac. Here, we tested ADAS in a makeshift course spread around the 60-hectare compound.

This writer was personally able to experience the system onboard the newest Isuzu D-Max. From the Aquatic Center, wherein we were first briefed about the activities, we then drove several hundreds of meters going to an obstacle course right beside the Athletic Stadium. We were tasked to maneuver around chicanes, doing slaloms and 360-degree turns at 3040 kph speeds before driving toward a specialized barrier head on. We were like test dummies in this exercise–and we the dummies. Good thing, the vehicle managed to stop on its own. But not without a BIG sigh of relief right after. The objective was to feature how the Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) systems would activate in such situations.

ADAS tested on an obstacle course.

Next, the Adaptive Cruise Control was showcased by having it activated using the buttons on the steering wheel. With another vehicle in front of us, running at 30-60khp cruising speeds, our D-Max, on its own, adjusted according to the vehicle’s pace. I didn’t even have to press on the gas or even the brake. It just did it on its own. Just imagine how convenient this would be on actual roads, not to mention how safe it could actually be.

Lastly, the Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) System was featured by having another vehicle trailing us. It showed that when the vehicle was on our right side, the icon on the right side mirror also lighted up, alerting the driver. The same went on when the vehicle was on the other side.

Also, what makes Isuzu’s ADAS unique compared to others is that it has a Smart Duo Cam system which uses two 3D cameras to constantly map the surrounding area to gauge the distance of the vehicle from any obstacle it senses.

“The Isuzu Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) received a five-star rating in the ASEAN NCAP testing, making these models one of the safest in its segment. Both the D-Max and mu-X are family vehicles, and these features are very relevant to their daily drive to ensure the safety of both the occupants and the people around the vehicle,” said IPC president Tetsuya Fujita, who was also with us during the entire trip.

Off to the off-road jungles of Clark

After the brief activities in Tarlac, we then proceeded to the off-road jungles of Pampanga. The fleet was able to traverse the Sacobia Rivers’ volcanic sand and ash, muddy waters and debris with a cinch. Here, we were able to test the prowess of the 4JJ3-TCX Blue Power engine and the vehicles’ off-road capabilities.

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“We try to keep it to true to our core values, Isuzu is known as a very durable brand and with these models our customers can continue to use their vehicles in challenging road conditions and harsh environment whenever they require, but at the same time we’re improving their overall driving experience, and on top of that, their safety,” continued Fujita.

After the whole day of activities, we then capped the night at ACEA hotel in Subic, Zambales.

Traversing the Sacobia River in Pampanga
Next day

The next day, we woke up to a bright sunny day. We then cruised to Former President Ramon Magsaysay’s heritage house and Casa San Miguel, all in Zambales, wherein we enjoyed short and relaxing historic and art tours.

In all, IPC and the organizers were able to prove that our local roads can be safe. And using their vehicles can be one clear example.