Mazda "Connect" Navigation System in 2016 and beyond (Good Read, Trust me)

bagelboy1

Member
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Mazda CX-5
In late January/Early February the 2016 Mazda CX-5 started arriving at dealerships. Most people were super excited because Mazda listened to your complaints about the 2014-2015 Mazda CX-5 infotainment system and developed what is known as the Mazda "Connect" Platform. I think most would agree that the Mazda "Connect is a huge improvement over its predecessor. What most people don't know is that when the 2016 Mazda CX-5's first came out those live traffic options that are now greyed out actually worked and it actually provided you with live traffic updates. Mazda had a trial contract with NAVTEQ to provide live traffic updates via in the Navigation portion of Mazda's "Connect", but once that trial contract ended the live traffic updates no longer were available.

You are probably wondering why Mazda would not establish a long term contract with NAVTEQ to continue with the live traffic updates. Fair question, in fact what most people don't realize is that XM/SIRIUS has a contract with NAVTEQ to obtain live traffic data. The 2016 Ford Escape has the XM/SIRIUS app in Fords infotainment system but the consumer has to pay a monthly subscription to access the XM/SIRIUS Traffic app. You are probably wondering why Mazda wouldnt make every effort to agree to a contract with XM/SIRIUS to utilize their Traffic app to provide there consumers with live traffic updates. Well, this is where it gets tricky. First, let me start off by saying Mazda still has a contract with NAVTEQ to provide Mazda with Map Updates and they are under no legal obligation to provide live traffic updates in Mazdas Connect system as stated in the Navigation Manual. Second, can you imagine how much Mazda would have to pay Sirius to utilize their XM/SIRIUS traffic app? Mazda would also have to pay an outside vendor to develop the interface for the XM/Sirius Traffic app to work on the Mazda Connect Platform. It is also quite possible that there are contractual reasons why XM/Sirius cannot provide their Traffic App to Mazda.

So who is NAVTEQ? Well as it turns out Nokia owns NAVTEQ and guess what Nokia did in August 2015? On 3 August 2015 Nokia announced an agreement to sell HERE to a consortium of three German automotive companies, Audi AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG, at an enterprise value of 2.8 billion euros.[16] The consortium will jointly own Here, which will continue to operate as a separate business and serve other customers besides its owners. What the heck is HERE? Its a platform that works with your smart phone that gives you everything you want together mapping, location businesses, satellite navigation and other services. So what is the difference between Apple Car Play and HERE? Well Apple Car Play will be based on your phone and HERE is based on satellite.
So what is the future of the current Mazda Connect Platform? Well, what is scary is we have heard nothing from Mazda about their future plans for the Mazda Connect Platform, but according to Apples CarPlay website Mazda is planning on pushing out Apple CarPlay in future models. My guess is that Mazda will push out the current Mazda Connect platform again in their 2017 models and then in 2018 will come out with a new Infotainment system that will include Apple CarPlay.

What about the current Mazda Connect owners, any chance Mazda is able to establish an agreement with a vendor to provide live traffic updates? Sorry folks, the chances at this point are slim to none. Mazda has no incentive at this point to investment money in something that is not part of their future, especially since Apple CarPlay will eliminate these types of issues in the future. The good news is we all have a pretty good alternative in our pockets. Just remember even if Mazda did provide live traffic updates there is no guarantee they would be any good. You remember how bad Apple Maps used to be?
 

inlinev

Member
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2016 CX-5 GT w/tech FWD
The future of in car navigation is apple car play or android auto. All other platforms are or will be obsolete in a few years.
 

frenchbiker

Contributor
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2016 CX-5 GT AWD w/ Tech
...........

What about the current Mazda “Connect” owners, any chance Mazda is able to establish an agreement with a vendor to provide live traffic updates? Sorry folks, the chances at this point are slim to none. Mazda has no incentive at this point to investment money in something that is not part of their future, especially since Apple CarPlay will eliminate these types of issues in the future. The good news is we all have a pretty good alternative in our pockets. Just remember even if Mazda did provide live traffic updates there is no guarantee they would be any good. You remember how bad Apple Maps used to be?

It's a good read but unfortunately, it confirms that current Mazda Connect owners like me, having paid a premium for a lousy navigation system without Live Traffic Alerts, part of a $1,500+ Tech Package, have been lied to and Mazda doesn't seem to care.
"Fool me once, shame on you, ........."
 

Rarebit

Contributor
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Mazda CX-5 2015 GT AWD
I sympathize, and it would piss me off, too, if I had a 2016.

However, I can see this another way, too. False advertising? Yes, if you're unable to deliver what you promise, and the manufacturer's problems sourcing parts and services from its suppliers are not the customers' problem! But technological change is making the world a lot more difficult. The entire supply chain changed, and Mazda was caught out with a system designed for a service that it can no longer get from its supplier without great expense.

I can understand Mazda's silence on this. They may be trying to see what they can do to substitute for the service they can no longer get from their supplier. And if the description above is factual, it is likely to be difficult. If I were Mazda, I would instead apply my resources towards getting one of the future platforms to work in new Mazdas. Backwards compatibility is probably out of the question.

I think the right thing for Mazda to do is to compensate those whose 2016s had the live traffic feature, and let them decide what to do with the money they receive from Mazda. They can bite the bullet on this, and apply their efforts to the future.

I was torn between buying a 2015 and a 2016 in April of 2015. I found a 2015 for a big discount and sacrificed what looked like a superior infotainment package. Live traffic was important to me, but the 2015's TomTom system, clunky as it is, works, and isn't a big problem once you get used to it. Voice instruction works if you speak clearly. I can input destinations while on the move using the voice system, and it gets me to where I need to go. And the live traffic DOES work, though I sometimes wonder whether it responds too slowly to emerging traffic problems. All in all, with the problems the 2016s are having with live traffic, it looks like I lucked into the right choice.
 

bmninada

Contributor
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2016 CX-5 AWD GT+iActive Soul Red
I am running a campaign here trying to get more and folks contacting Mazda. Whatever you write I am aware. I have spoken to XM, Here and TotalTraffic already. There is nothing holding back Mazda. For a nominal fee, Total Traffic will expose the required APIs to Mazda team enabling them to integrate the navigation with traffic.
Similarly for integration with XM. Then comes subscription. Every new car usually comes with 4 to 6 months trial XM subscription which is paid by dealer. Then consumer decides. XM team told me the same thing can and usually applies for traffic also. All that's required is the initial investment to integrate. Heck: they might even do it for free if the subscriptions will come in!
So, there is NOTHING stopping Mazda to do it. They don't want to invest period and they are hiding behind legal stuff. If others can do it they can also. They are jerking us around.
About Apple Caraplay, no sorry. I don't think Mazda is anywhere near doing it. Their infotainment engineers are their weakest link.
 

frenchbiker

Contributor
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2016 CX-5 GT AWD w/ Tech
I am running a campaign here trying to get more and folks contacting Mazda. Whatever you write I am aware. I have spoken to XM, Here and TotalTraffic already. There is nothing holding back Mazda. For a nominal fee, Total Traffic will expose the required APIs to Mazda team enabling them to integrate the navigation with traffic.
Similarly for integration with XM. Then comes subscription. Every new car usually comes with 4 to 6 months trial XM subscription which is paid by dealer. Then consumer decides. XM team told me the same thing can and usually applies for traffic also. All that's required is the initial investment to integrate. Heck: they might even do it for free if the subscriptions will come in!
So, there is NOTHING stopping Mazda to do it. They don't want to invest period and they are hiding behind legal stuff. If others can do it they can also. They are jerking us around.
About Apple Caraplay, no sorry. I don't think Mazda is anywhere near doing it. Their infotainment engineers are their weakest link.

Mazda can hide behind legalities all they want, at the end of the day, winning legal arguments and losing customers is not a smart move. All this does is push owners to reconsider their loyalty to Mazda (2 Mazdas in my house) and to warn potential buyers of the disconnect between the marketing messages and the reality.
As for XM Traffic integrated with the Mazda navigation system, I am already a paying XM susbcriber so this could be an option, as long as the add-on for Live Traffic is not prohibitive price wise and as long as this doesn't force me to tune my XM radio to a Traffic Channel while driving, and lose access to the XM channels I listen to when I drive.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
Mazda can hide behind legalities all they want, at the end of the day, winning legal arguments and losing customers is not a smart move. All this does is push owners to reconsider their loyalty to Mazda (2 Mazdas in my house) and to warn potential buyers of the disconnect between the marketing messages and the reality.
Can't agree with you more! No matter how we look at it, it's false advertising! BMW compensated unsatisfied customers for its incorrect specifications on 2 Series' HK premium audio system. They didn't use any legal means to push away those unsatisfied customers!
 
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Mazda 2016 CX-5
Yep, I called BMW about the HK issue on my 228 and two weeks later I had a check for $350 in my hands. Mazda should offer some kind of compensation
 

Kedis82ZE8

'15 CX-5 GT AWD, '12 GX 460, '07 G35x
Contributor
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'15 CX-5 GT AWD
As for XM Traffic integrated with the Mazda navigation system, I am already a paying XM susbcriber so this could be an option, as long as the add-on for Live Traffic is not prohibitive price wise and as long as this doesn't force me to tune my XM radio to a Traffic Channel while driving, and lose access to the XM channels I listen to when I drive.

I don't pay for XM Radio in my Infiniti... just for XM traffic and that runs $3-4/month.
 

frenchbiker

Contributor
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2016 CX-5 GT AWD w/ Tech
I don't pay for XM Radio in my Infiniti... just for XM traffic and that runs $3-4/month.

I paid $34 for 5 months for XM Select (140 Channels) so $3-$4/month for XM Traffic alone would be a 50% increase. I hope they have preferred conditions for existing customers.
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
I believe the Mazda Connect system is flexible enough to support Android Auto with only software changes. Instead of asking for traffic data and making Mazda waste time and effort on this, you should request Android Auto support. It will get you the best available traffic data and a superior user experience for maps, messaging, voice recognition, music from a large developer base.
In fact, Mazda will be smart to equip future models with an infotainment which completely relies on Android Auto and Car Play for it to function and by doing this, be able to save money on a simpler system than the current system.

The best maps and best traffic data is free. Why settle for an inferior user experience, worse maps with less details and also pay for it?
 
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bmninada

Contributor
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2016 CX-5 AWD GT+iActive Soul Red
I believe the Mazda Connect system is flexible enough to support Android Auto with only software changes. Instead of asking for traffic data and making Mazda waste time and effort on this, you should request Android Auto support. It will get you the best available traffic data and a superior user experience for maps, messaging, voice recognition, music from a large developer base.
In fact, Mazda will be smart to equip future models with an infotainment which completely relies on Android Auto and Car Play for it to function and by doing this, be able to save money on a simpler system than the current system.

The best maps and best traffic data is free. Why settle for an inferior user experience, worse maps with less details and also pay for it?

I don't have Android. Many don't. That's why specifically asking just for Android makes no sense. Instead Mazda should provide an universal solution. Next, for traffic I don't want to spend my data.
 

Kedis82ZE8

'15 CX-5 GT AWD, '12 GX 460, '07 G35x
Contributor
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'15 CX-5 GT AWD
I paid $34 for 5 months for XM Select (140 Channels) so $3-$4/month for XM Traffic alone would be a 50% increase. I hope they have preferred conditions for existing customers.

I'm probably gonna drop it though this year.... only thing I really use it for these days is traffic flow data from time to time and as stated you can get that for free on your phone.
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
I did not pay for the tech package and I don't have navigation in my CX-5. I definitely don't pay for XM or any other subscription.
To get to work I use Waze and/or Google Maps. In fact, I did use a Garmin GPS with traffic information until sometime ago, but the available traffic info in that device is incomplete and does not cover critical parts of my commute. The user experience with Waze and Google Maps is superior in every way. In addition to music I have in a USB drive, I use Pandora for free.
It is true I don't pay for my data, but my wife's phone we pay $10/mo for data and she does not even use it all. You can go Project Fi and pay for what you use.
BTW, so far this month I've used 6% of my data with Waze, despite using it extensively every day for commuting.

This is the future. You can resist it for a while longer, but you are missing out.
Of course, Apple Car Play is an option too.
 
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GA prior 16 CX5 GT
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20 CX5 GT + Prem
Whatever Mazda does it just made the problem much bigger by making Navigation standard on Touring and GT for 2016.5s.
 

frenchbiker

Contributor
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2016 CX-5 GT AWD w/ Tech
I don't have Android. Many don't. That's why specifically asking just for Android makes no sense. Instead Mazda should provide an universal solution. Next, for traffic I don't want to spend my data.

I agree, not everyone has an Android smartphone or an iPhone and not everyone will agree to consume its wireless data allowance for Live Traffic data.
The Mazda Navigation system should not require connecting an external device (smartphone) to provide what it's supposed to provide. This is why the option of using XM Traffic only requires Mazda to integrate the XM radio, part of the Infotainment system, to the Navigation, also part of the Infotainment system. The only thing required from the owner would be a subscription to XM Traffic and Mazda could negotiate a special deal with XM for its customers. Sounds reasonable to me and easy to implement. The only reservation I have at this point is if XM Traffic prevents listening to other radio channels (XM or normal radio) while driving.
 

frenchbiker

Contributor
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2016 CX-5 GT AWD w/ Tech
I did not pay for the tech package and I don't have navigation in my CX-5. I definitely don't pay for XM or any other subscription.
To get to work I use Waze and/or Google Maps. In fact, I did use a Garmin GPS with traffic information until sometime ago, but the available traffic info in that device is incomplete and does not cover critical parts of my commute. The user experience with Waze and Google Maps is superior in every way. In addition to music I have in a USB drive, I use Pandora for free.
It is true I don't pay for my data, but my wife's phone we pay $10/mo for data and she does not even use it all. You can go Project Fi and pay for what you use.
BTW, so far this month I've used 6% of my data with Waze, despite using it extensively every day for commuting.

This is the future. You can resist it for a while longer, but you are missing out.
Of course, Apple Car Play is an option too.

I understand what you're saying and it's fine but that's not what we're talking about. The subject is to get Mazda to provide what we paid for, which is an integrated Navigation system with Live Traffic alerts.
What would I need an Infotainment system with a 7" screen in the middle of my dashboard for if I use my Galaxy to navigate, receive MSG, emails and calls, listen to the radio and even watch TV if I want to?
 
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD
What would I need an Infotainment system with a 7" screen in the middle of my dashboard for if I use my Galaxy to navigate, receive MSG, emails and calls, listen to the radio and even watch TV if I want to?

You would use the 7" screen to view and interact with navigation, messaging, music and future apps that will never be available on the current system. Your phone will drive the car's display and interactions.