With the recent implementation of RA 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act, many motorists are concerned about how they will stay connected while behind the wheel. With today’s society being attached to their cellphones like their life depended on it, resisting the urge to even glace at that little mobile device can seem like that huge sacrifice done during the Lenten season.
Take heart, dear citizens. Most new cars today are equipped with features that allow one to keep in touch with the outside world while still focusing on the drive. One of these carmakers is Mazda. From the get-go, Mazda, along with its Philippine distributor Bermaz Auto Philippines, has fitted its KODO-generation models with the latest infotainment systems that allow drivers to use their smartphones, as well as stay entertained while behind the tiller.
Mazda Connect is designed to reduce visual, manual, and cognitive distractions while driving. It does this via the 7- or 8-inch touchscreen that is placed in the middle of the dashboard and way below the windshield—so as not to interfere with the driver’s line of sight. It allows one to control various vehicle functions, control a paired mobile device, and managed entertainment options without distracting the driver.
Once the vehicle gets moving, the touchscreen is disabled and the Commander Control interface takes over. The set of controls, located in the center console right behind the gearshift lever, is composed of a rotary knob, a volume controller, and five buttons. Each one of these are designed for intuitive use. Together with the equally handy steering wheel buttons, the driver can perform the same aforementioned vehicle and infotainment functions without violating any laws.
Of course, Mazda Connect allows drivers to pair their mobile devices via Bluetooth for totally hands-free connectivity. Apart from making and receving calls that are communicated through the vehicle’s speakers and built-in microphone, voice command and recognition functions allow one to send text messages by simply talking to the system. Moreover, preset messages make it easy to respond, even with simple one-liners. And yes, the system will read back those text meesages you receive so that you don’t need to glance at your phone while driving. Again, it’s all designed for safe driving while staying connected.
Mazda Connect was the first mainstream market system of its kind to be offered, taking its cue from high-end luxury models. It has been around since 2014, first seem on the current-generation Mazda 3 It is now available on the entire line of Mazda vehicles, such as the Mazda 2, Mazda CX-3, Mazda CX-5, Mazda 6, Mazda MX-5, and the all-new Mazda CX-9.