Mazda Adds Aha
     

The 2014 Mazda3 coming to showrooms in North America and Europe this fall will offer access to Web aggregator service Aha by Harman. The automaker says the Mazda3 accounts for one-third of the company’s annual sales and 3.5 million of them have been sold worldwide since the model was introduced in 2003.

Using a compatible Bluetooth connected smartphone, with Aha, drivers can access Internet music services, radio stations, news, entertainment, audiobooks, Facebook and Twitter feeds and personalized location-based services such as weather.

Broadcast radio groups whose streams are included on the Aha platform include CBS Radio and NPR.

Standard AM/FM is also in the digital dashboard, along with a CD player, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and USB/aux ports. In the Mazda3, Aha is implemented as a third “band” after AM and FM.

The updated infotainment system with a 7-inch display screen can read email and short messages aloud while the vehicle is in motion using text-to-voice technology. Short Message Service messages can be received and shown on the touchscreen monitor. The system can then articulate the messages as well as allow users to send replies using fixed phrases.

Mazda’s Product Division Deputy GM Ryuichi Umeshita says Aha offers drivers a new way to connect to the Internet with a safe user interface.

Aha’s personalized location-based stations will be separated from its entertainment stations in the Mazda3. Drivers will access Aha’s location-based stations under a “Nearby” button. The automaker also debuts safety systems meant to minimize the severity of a crash with the Mazda3. Those include a lane departure warning system, forward obstruction warning, blindspot monitoring and city brake support.

 


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