Mazda Infotainment System



  • I went to set the clock on my Mazda this morning and I was reminded that Mazda does very little QA on their infotainment software. Here's the screen the set the clock:

    Notice that when "GPS Sync" is turned on, both "Time Zone" and "Daylight Savings Time" are disabled. To get it out of daylight savings time, you have to turn off GPS Sync, which them enables the controls on the two disabled controls, then turn off daylight savings, then turn GPS Sync back on.

    There's like fifteen similar bugs in this software. Every time I get an update, it adds a few more bugs.

    BTW, I got my first Mazda replaced (as in they told me to go out on the lot and pick out a new car) because the infotainment system and dash lights were so screwed up.



  • Shouldn't the GPS Sync mean that you don't need to tell the car if it's DST or not?
    It knows what time it is UTC and which time zone its in (from the GPS) so it should be able to figure out the correct time, so I'd expect the DST option to be unavailable.

    Unless TRWTF here is that it gets the time wrong?


  • sockdevs



  • @loopback0 said:

    Shouldn't the GPS Sync mean that you don't need to tell the car if it's DST or not?

    That's possible, but unlikely since it's harder than it sounds and the rules change on a whim.

    However, the UI greying out DST when in GPS mode certainly implies that it auto detects DST. But, the fact that I got in my car this morning and the time was an hour off says either that it doesn't, or it's broken.



  • @Jaime said:

    But, the fact that I got in my car this morning and the time was an hour off says either that it doesn't, or it's broken.

    Sounds like the latter - have you had the software/maps updated recently?



  • @loopback0 said:

    have you had the software/maps updated recently

    @Jaime said:

    I got my first Mazda replaced (as in they told me to go out on the lot and pick out a new car) because the infotainment system and dash lights were so screwed up

    The dealership knows me well. I've been there over a dozen times for this thing. On my most recent visit I was told that I have the latest version.
    This goes along with other bugs like if you reset the trip odometer too soon after starting the car, the statistics for the previous tank won't go into the fuel consumption history graph. Or, if you turn on speed warnings and set both "visual only" and "only if exceeding the speed limit", it shows no warnings at all. Or, sometimes the navigation system doesn't show when you start the car. In this state, the button to show the nav system doesn't do anything until after you press another button, like turning the radio volume up. Sometimes the nav system shows as a compass with the text "you can purchase the navigation option from your dealership".



  • Sounds like it works well, then.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Jaime said:

    However, the UI greying out DST when in GPS mode certainly implies that it auto detects DST. But, the fact that I got in my car this morning and the time was an hour off says either that it doesn't, or it's broken.

    Is it possible that it takes a little while to update the time? Perhaps you have to give it a bit to auto-update the time?

    Of course, judging by all the other issues that you have had, it is probably just broken.



  • I always think my Ford Sync system is awful, until I talk to anybody else with one. It seems it's the best of a bad lot.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I truly don't like GPS navigation systems. The only time I've had and needed one, it got far more thoroughly lost than I did, demanding that I turn off the highway into the middle of a field and thinking we were moving at about 50mph while we were stopped in a lay-by (having an argument about where we were :blush: ). At that point we figured out that it really had no idea at all and started to completely ignore it, which helped a lot!



  • Ok, well, you might not be aware of it, being recently de-thawed from 1989 apparently, but the car computer does more than just GPS. It controls the climate and entertainment systems, too. And serves as the interface from the driver to the engine computer, so the car can report things like, "hey change your oil" or what-not.

    If you have never needed a GPS system, that just tells me you never go anywhere interesting.



  • I don't like this systems. You pay premium for them, they pretty much do what your smartphone already does, and it's another crap you have to keep up to date and fix and what not.

    BTW, why do manufacturers need to reinvent the wheel? Why don't they use some standard OS and standard apps for this systems?



  • @Eldelshell said:

    You pay premium for them, they pretty much do what your smartphone already does

    They used to be much better. Back when you paid two grand for navigation, they had internal accelerometers and they hooked up to the speed sensor of the car. The system in my previous car (a Dodge) would work in the sub-basement parking garage of a twenty story building. My current system shows a tunnel image if a big bird flies over. Although, the current system is only a few hundred dollar option. Mazda puts the display in all of it's cars, so it's just a software activation.

    I actually thought the old systems were worth the expensive price tag. The new ones seem to be worth it, but barely.
    @Eldelshell said:

    BTW, why do manufacturers need to reinvent the wheel? Why don't they use some standard OS and standard apps for this systems?

    They do, they are usually QNX. The new version of QNX even supports running Android apps. There is this huge standards battle between "let you use your own stuff" and "create a captive market to sell you our stuff". Car manufacturers have historically favored the latter.

    When I traded in my Challenger, Dodge had switched from selling the Harman Becker based unit I had to a completely different unit produced by a different supplier. My four year old car was never going to get another software update, because it was now "abandonware". However, this isn't because they used a non-standard OS, they didn't. It's because they intentionally locked it down to only run signed binaries. There really isn't any good reason to do so, it is just an anti-consumer habit that they have a hard time breaking.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    And serves as the interface from the driver to the engine computer, so the car can report things like, "hey change your oil"

    BTW, my current issue is that the little wrench on my dash keeps lighting up, which is supposed to mean that one of my maintenance periods is due. However, the infotainment system tells my that no maintenance is due and resetting all the counters does nothing. The wrench keep coming on and going off, and it has never been on when I made it to the dealership, so they have no idea why it might be coming on.

    This is on the car that is better than my previous one. That one used to do stuff like reboot the infotainment system when a call came in. It also blue screened ten times or so. Strangely, they replaced the computer module and the problems persisted. That's why they replaced the car.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    Ok, well, you might not be aware of it, being recently de-thawed from 1989 apparently, but the car computer does more than just GPS. It controls the climate and entertainment systems, too. And serves as the interface from the driver to the engine computer, so the car can report things like, "hey change your oil" or what-not.

    If you have never needed a GPS system, that just tells me you never go anywhere interesting.

    Mine doesn't. Subaru, in their infinite wisdom, bought a Fujitsu double-DIN navigation/radio unit, tossed it into the dashboard and replaced the plastic Fujitsu insert with a plastic Subaru insert.

    The climate control computer does climate control.
    The engine management system communicates via handy telltale lights and a simple LCD in the gauge cluster.
    The traction control system communicates exclusively via telltales and accepts input through a pair of honest to god buttons.

    This sort of separation of concerns and economy of communication pleases me. The navigation/radio unit, however, is complete and utter SHIT. The good news is that if I ever manage to identify a standard double DIN navigation/radio unit that isn't complete and utter SHIT, I can replace it.

    @Eldelshell said:

    BTW, why do manufacturers need to reinvent the wheel? Why don't they use some standard OS and standard apps for this systems?
    They do. There are a few major players, among them QNX (which allegedly runs Android apps these days), and Windows Embedded. The difficulty comes in that the brandingtards want everything to be very tightly controlled to create the ideal customer experience, and many laws and regulations REQUIRE that things be very tightly controlled (i.e. certain things don't work unless you're stopped, other things don't work while in motion, etc. etc. etc.) and arbitrary code execution is not going to obey that.



  • @Weng said:

    Mine doesn't. Subaru, in their infinite wisdom, bought a Fujitsu double-DIN navigation/radio unit, tossed it into the dashboard and replaced the plastic Fujitsu insert with a plastic Subaru insert.

    I'm in the middle of taking a Subaru apart and reusing the pieces in another car. Because Subaru is so small, they need to reuse transmissions, engines, climate control systems, and other stuff in a mix-and-match fashion across their product line. This doesn't leave any room for the kind of "whole car engineering" that the big guys do. They still do have a lot of tie-ins that are annoying, like the speedometer not working unless you use their ABS system.

    Anyways, the Fujitsu TEN was the best nav system I've used in any car. It's good, not great, but all the others I've used are worse. Toyota's OEM nav units are all Fujitsu TEN's.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Please tell me you're building one of those Factory Five kits. I really want one.

    The really interesting thing is that I drive a BRZ - a car which was, allegedly, according to the party line "Driveline by Subaru, everything else by Toyota."

    As far as I can tell, it's "Fuel injection and initial crayon drawings of a miniaturized, modernized Supra* by Toyota, everything else by Subaru". All the parts bin stuff cross-references back to other Subaru products.

    *Blah blah AE86 blah blah. The AE86 looked like a gods damned Dodge Omni, this is shaped like a proper sports car. It may fill the same lineup segment as the AE86, but it's stylistically got more in common with a Supra.



  • No company that is not entirely dedicated to making software will ever be able to make a good operating system ("operating system" here meaning everything that comes built into the system, including user interface, an update system, etc.).

    This also holds true of most companies that are entirely dedicated to making software. In short, if you're not Microsoft, Google or Apple, don't even bother trying.



  • @Weng said:

    Please tell me you're building one of those Factory Five kits

    Current status of my Factory Five 818:


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Eldelshell said:

    Why don't they use some standard OS and standard apps for this systems?

    And then we get endless jokes about your car rebooting.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Jaime said:

    The wrench keep coming on and going off, and it has never been on when I made it to the dealership, so they have no idea why it might be coming on.

    Find out where the nearest auto parts store(s) are. Take it to one while the light's on, and they can hook up to the OBD-II port and pull the code and give you some potential reasons for the code. (Assuming you live in the US--I don't know what other countries do.)



  • @FrostCat said:

    and they can hook up to the OBD-II port and pull the code and give you some potential reasons for the code

    I have an OBD-II code scanner. This isn't the Malfunction Indicator Light (aka check engine light), it's a "service due" light. It's supposed to come on when it's time to change the oil or rotate the tires.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @Eldelshell said:

    BTW, why do manufacturers need to reinvent the wheel? Why don't they use some standard OS and standard apps for this systems?

    Years ago Google offered to make the system for GM to use across their line. It would have been based on Android and Google was going to foot the cost. GM said no, for some damned reason...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Jaime said:

    Current status of my Factory Five 818:

    Missing the "current status of my Subaru Impreza" pic.

    Meanwhile, in my garage, on the other end of the remove complexity/add lightness scale:

    (Actually, the stripping is basically done now, since I took that pic - cage is cut out now, and the engine bay is bare. Only thing left to do before it goes to the junkyard is to drop the fuel tank, pull the pump, and incinerate the rest).

    I've basically reduced a 20ft long 4000lb parts car to the contents of three heavy duty tote bins, a driveshaft, a rear end, and a transmission. (the engine block was cracked, so the internals and heads are one of the tote bins) And because of the cage, a bunch of cheater pipes and welding scraps (though the original cage appears to be shitty ERW steel tube - only the patches added after the fact for rules compliance are much better DOM tube)

    Oh, and the missing fender is going to be a piece of wall art. Going to take one of the wheels (complete with grubby, used up race tire!) and make it into a clock, and halo it with a fender.



  • @Weng said:

    Missing the "current status of my Subaru Impreza" pic

    Last picture taken of the Impreza that graciously donated its parts for the 818:

    Last pic recognizable as a car:


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Were those decals a factory option?

    Or is it just part of the lesbaru uniform?

    I'm working on a trade for a super-cheap 2.5i. Not sure what I want to do for the engine yet, but since I'm thinking 'dedicated track rat', a base motor isn't going to cut it. Maybe a new-build piece of twin turbo lunacy. I could spend more and buy a WRX or an STi, but I'd have to rebuild anything that came out of an STi anyway (I know how those people operate, and the WRX crowd is only marginally better).



  • OtOH, I can see why GM would worry of associating with a company known for tracking everything and everyone. Hell, we all might end up with a street view dome in top of our cars.



  • The WRX had an automatic transmission, so I didn't expect a typical owner. Based on the random stuff I found in the car, it was owned by a chick, so you may be spot on there. It was also owned by someone too stupid to wear a seatbelt, as the head dent in the windshield would attest to.

    I only paid a bit over $1000 for it, so I was happy to get an engine and a bunch of miscellaneous parts from it. It turns out that the engine had been replaced about 30k miles before it was totaled, so I caught a break there. I bought a Japanese market 5 speed to go with it.

    I have a 2.5l block and a VF35 turbo in the basement for an upgrade next year. I should end up with 400HP and 1800 pounds when I'm done. Along with the 4 inch ground clearance and stupid low center of gravity, this thing should be really fast, both in a straight line and around corners.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @blakeyrat said:

    If you have never needed a GPS system, that just tells me you never go anywhere interesting.

    It may surprise you to learn that people managed to drive to interesting places before GPS even existed.



  • It does not. I drove to interesting places before GPS existed. It sucked horribly, and I spent a lot of time lost, and more than once I ended up missing the event I was attempting to get to because I couldn't find my way there.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    I have Google Maps on my phone, and a GPS application that I never use. I generally find where I'm going with no problems with Google Maps, but the one time I tried to use a friend's GPS, we ended up going around the block unnecessarily.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    And yet I routinely manage to make it to events 1000 miles away without doing anything more than consulting Google Maps (NOT using the direction feature) before I leave and taking some notes on the final directions. Only certain places are truly problematic - NC can't sign roads for shit.



  • Congratulations?

    Some people can also lift heavy boxes that other people can't. I guess that means you should be mocked for doing a team-life or getting a forklift, right?



  • I use CoPilot as it stores the maps on the phone and does speed camera warning, and it was on offer so I got the maps for the whole of Europe for the usual cost of the UK maps alone.
    Am thinking about retrofitting the sat nav unit to the car as it's handier built in IMO. And it would add some other features like even better bluetooth integration and playing music from SD cards.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Ruthlessly. I also eat raw meat, because this "fire" technology is for sissy n00bs.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @Jaime said:

    rotate the tires

    On my car, the tyres rotate every time the car moves



  • @antiquarian said:

    It may surprise you to learn that people managed to drive to interesting places before GPS even existed.

    Navigation allows you to have a lot more fun in an unfamiliar place; no pre-scouting, no printing Google maps. I used to do a lot of out-of-town work and I found nav to be very handy after work. I would just set a favorite at the hotel and explore for places to go for dinner. I never had to worry about getting back to the hotel and if I ended up going into a part of town I didn't feel comfortable in, I just went the other way.

    It's also really handy if you run into traffic congestion. Just zoom out a click or two and find a side street that goes around the problem. You don't have to set a destination to get a lot of use out of it.


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