Mazda CEO Masahiro Moro said point blank that “No steering wheel is not an option for us,” and went on to say that autonomous tech should be there to help drivers enjoy the car more, not make driver input impossible.
There are five levels of automation, ranging from hands-on automation like Adaptive Cruise Control (Level 1) and full autonomy in certain situations (Level 3) to Level 5, the steering wheel-free level that Mazda prefers to avoid.
Moro says that Level 4, where the car can drive safely in all situations without driver input, is as far as Mazda will go, and only if the technology allows “driving dynamics between the car and the driver.”
Mazda autonomous drive technology is still in development and won’t be available on Mazda vehicles for some time, but here at Wantagh Mazda, we’re thrilled that Mazda is dedicated to balancing its values with evolving technology and needs.
At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda released its new rotary-powered Mazda RX-VISION Concept. Powered by a next-gen, SKYACTIV-R engine, this elegant and aggressively-styled vehicle is a snapshot of the future, according to Mazda.
The first rotary-powered engine produced by Mazda came out in 1967; they have spent the 40+ decades since bettering, empowering, and perfecting this amazingly efficient technology.
The Mazda RX-VISION Concept is a rear-wheel drive sports car with one of the most innovative and distinguished KODO-proportioned exteriors. The rotary-powered engine means improved power output, increased fuel economy, and overall durability.
The style of the RX-VISION Concept just screams of “tomorrow.” It’s futuristic in design and even if you know nothing of engineering, you know that this vehicle is aerodynamic (and really really fast). This car is going to be a head-turner once it hits the road, though there are no official plans to begin mass production just yet.
Mazda is introducing a new smartphone app called Mazda Mobile Start, which promises to give Mazda owners more control over their vehicles. The suite of remote-control features allows users to remotely start their cars, lock and unlock the doors, find their car’s location, and set off the car alarm.
Mazda Mobile Start is currently only compatible with 2016 Mazda6 sedans and CX-5 crossovers, and can be purchased and installed at Mazda dealerships for $500. After the first year of subscription, the app will cost a yearly fee of $65 to keep active.
For those of us who live in particularly hot or cold climates, the remote engine start alone is worth the cost. The car can run idle for 30 minutes, cooling or heating the car based on the climate settings that were input when the car was turned off. Additionally, the ability to track down your car in a crowded parking lot without having to set off the panic alarm is a welcome feature. And of course, that panic button is there, just in case you need it.
“Mazda Mobile Start comes with more than just the features and functions of the app; it also comes with peace of mind,” said Trisha Quezada, manager, accessories, sales and marketing at MNAO in a statement. “Mazda Mobile Start was created with convenience and safety in mind to enhance the overall driving experience that matters so much to our customers.”
Stop by Wantagh Mazda today to learn more, and look for more Mazda vehicles to be compatible in the coming year.