Mazda Announces "Mobile Start" Smartphone Application
There is no bigger feeling of being a bonehead than locking your keys in your car (if that’s even possible any more) or losing your car in a parking lot, but Mazda has created a new smartphone-enabled feature to bring a little more peace of mind to vehicle ownership. Using just about any smartphone from virtually anywhere, the Mazda Mobile Start app gives vehicle owners the ability to perform various tasks, including starting the car, locking or unlocking doors, locating the car using GPS or activating the panic alarm.
Priced at $500, Mazda Mobile Start is currently only available as a dealer-installed accessory on the 2016 Mazda6 and 2016 Mazda CX-5 (equipped with automatic transmissions), but Mazda said “it is expected that additional models will be added this year.” The first year of service is complimentary, and after that it will require a $65 annual subscription.
Of the three main remote functions, perhaps the coolest part of Mazda Mobile Start is the car-finder function that uses GPS and the smartphone camera to guide users to their vehicles. Unlike the standard dot on the map that most car locators use, Mazda’s system shows a live view image to track the vehicle and show exactly where it is. If you still can’t find it for some reason, the app can also turn on the panic alarm, which can obviously also be used as a security device.
For added comfort, users can remote start their car, and it uses previous HVAC settings to heat or cool the cabin. The engine runs for 30 minutes before automatically shutting off, and there is a timer built into the app to show how much time is left before the engine shuts off. Finally, the app allows a user to lock and unlock the car doors whether the keys got locked in the car of if he forgot to lock the doors.
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Why it matters
Mazda Mobile Start is a helpful low-cost feature that gives users the added comfort, convenience and security to operate certain vehicle functions at the push of a button using a smartphone (or any internet-capable device).