Sometimes an idea comes along and it's so simple it makes you wonder why no one thought of it before. Other times the idea is so obvious you wonder why anyone would need to think it. We're not sure which category the Mini Roadside Assistance App falls into, but it's the first of its kind.

If it seems like it'd be at least as easy to store the roadside assistance number in your contacts list, you're ahead of the game. The app does offer some extra functionality, however, possibly saving you precious minutes in an emergency situation.

The app, available free to Mini owners, not only dials the roadside assistance line, but also transmits key data including details about the vehicle and its exact GPS-provided location. That can help Mini get exactly the right assistance to you as quickly as possible.

“MINI owners appreciate technological innovation and will welcome the additional peace of mind that comes from having fast, easy access to the free roadside services provided during their warranty period,” said Jim McDowell, Vice President MINI USA.

All owners need to do is download it to their phones and follow the on-screen setup instructions, which includes inputting the vehicle's VIN number and the owner's details. Then, when assistance is needed, the user just launches the app and presses the 'call' button.

Admittedly, while this is the first use of a GPS-enabled phone application for these purposes, similar functionality can be found in many in-car systems, including GM's OnStar and Lexus's Enform.

For more details on how the app works, check out the video below.