Mazda has been a bit slow in the car connectivity department and is in catch-up mode. This week it turned up to the Consumer Electronics Show for the first time in order to showcase its next-generation Mazda Connect interface. Unfortunately, there's not much to report on but Mazda promises the new system will offer the convenience of a smartphone in a form that is safe and appropriate for use behind the wheel.

Like many rival systems, the latest Mazda Connect interface is app-based and is open to third-party developers. And Mazda has already partnered with a tech firm to help develop some new apps, in this case Seattle-based OpenCar. Together, the two firms also hope to develop a platform that makes it easy for software programmers, even with little automotive experience, to create a variety of apps for Mazda cars that will be safe and simple to use.

Mazda Connect will rely on a 7-inch central display screen and includes what’s known as a Commander Control that will allow the driver to operate the system by feel. Relevant information will be displayed to the driver by a device that projects a virtual image of above the instrument cluster.

That’s all Mazda has to say right now about its next-gen Mazda Connect interface, so we’ll have to wait and see how it turns out and what apps will be available.


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