Mazda’s North American Operations (MNAO) has recently announced the launch of its Mazda Mobile Start smartphone app. With Mazda Mobile Start, owners will be able to control many of their cars settings through the smartphone interface. The only app of its kind, the Smartphone Remote Engine Start system as been engineered and designed specifically for Mazda vehicles and as such meets all exacting factory standards and specifications and will be available for purchase and installation at authorised Mazda dealers in the United States. Engine Start will allow owners to start and stop their car’s engine from virtually anywhere with their smartphones, as long as their adequate GPS coverage (and presumably cell phone data connection). With the app, owners can start their engine and allow it to idle for up to 30 minutes at a time to preheat or cool the car. The app also features a timer to show how long the car has been running and how much longer it will run. Once the vehicle is started using the app, the settings last used on the climate control system and defroster will activate to help ensure the car will be heated and cooled when ready to go. Door Lock and Panic Alarm will allow owners to check the door lock status and remotely lock or unlock doors leaving owners confident in knowing the car is securely locked. In addition, the panic alarm can be activated for increased security. Carfinder uses the smartphone camera and GPS technology to help owners find their car with the built in map features. This feature will help locate Mazda Mobile Start equipped vehicles in large open parking areas. The Mazda Mobile Start will sell for a recommended retail price of $500 and will include a one-year subscription to the smartphone app (available on the iOS App Store and Google Play) after which an annual renewal fee of $65 will apply. Currently, the system is currently only available in the US and is initially only compatible with the 2016 Mazda6 and CX-5 with further models expected to be added later this year.