A collection of binaries to augment Mazda's MZD Connect infotainment system
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Mazda Connector[1]

Mazda Connector is a collection of binaries to augment the functionality of the MZD Connect infotainment system on Mazda's current line of cars.[2]  Currently, there are three components: an Android application (android), a server binary which runs on the infotainment system (connector), and an input capturing binary (input_filter) that does a bunch of gross hacks to capture input from the steering wheel/commander knob before it hits the system.



An Android application which provides a bluetooth server socket to which the car can connect for bidirectional communication. Currently, this is only used to capture the steering wheel talk button's input events (single press to play/pause music, long press to trigger Google Now, and other inputs (e.g. quadruple press followed by a long press) to trigger text to speech saying what you pressed), but it can be easily extended to do more interesting things.


A daemon that handles connecting to the Android application through the system's native bluetooth stack, and listens to incoming events via D-BUS to tell the phone to do stuff.

Input Filter

A daemon that runs before any of the system's input reading services start, which filters out specific button presses (currently only the steering wheel talk button) and sends the events to connector for handling.


Building the connector and input filter components requires an ARM cross-compilation toolchain with a relatively new version of gcc (C++11 support is required), glibc 2.11, libdbus, boost headers. A toolchain built for Ubuntu 14.10 is available here. ninja is also required, because I'm too lazy to write a makefile. The android app is built with sbt.


Here is a checklist of things you should verify (and know how to verify) before even thinking of installing this:

  1. /dev/input/event1 exists and is the virtual keyboard device.
  2. /dev/input/event5 is the last event device in /dev/input.
  3. KEY_G is the voice recognition button on your steering wheel.
Bootloop prevention

Several of the services on the infotainment system will cause a reboot of the system if they fail. If this happens during the boot sequence because one of the daemons added by us has broken some invariant expected by the services, it will probably enter an endless bootloop which you won't be able to fix with ssh. To prevent this, both connector and input_filter are controlled by the enable_connector and enable_input_filter files in /tmp/mnt/data. The daemons will check these files on startup for '1' to decide whether to do stuff, and set them to '0' before continuing. If they happen to break things and cause a reboot, they'll do nothing on next boot, preventing Bad Things from happening. When you have everything working after a successful boot, setting the files to contain '2' will prevent them from disabling themselves on future boots.

Install the android app

Sideload it onto your android device through adb or google drive or emailing the APK to yourself or whatever. Make sure that your phone is the only device paired with the car, and start the application (it's currently just a blank screen right now). The application needs to be started at least once after installing, upgrading, or force stopping it, because Android prevents it from automatically starting while it is in the stopped state. After it's been launched once, it'll be automatically started in the background when the bluetooth state changes.

Install connector

Installation of connector and verifying that it works is relatively safe. Add an entry for the service into /jci/bds/BdsConfiguration.xml:

<serialPort id="8017" name="Mazda Connector" critical="false" enabled="true" uuidServer="62306C7457064375BB48212331070361" uuidClient="62306C7457064375BB48212331070361" writeDelay="3"/>

Then, copy the binary to somewhere like /tmp/mnt/data, and add it to one of the later stage start scripts specificed in /jci/sm/sm.conf, such as /jci/scripts/stage_gap2.sh. Changing the file to contain the following should work:

/tmp/mnt/data/connector > /tmp/mnt/data/connector.log 2>&1 &

Currently, connector is pretty much completely safe, so you can set enable_connector to '2' from the start. This may not be true in the future, so on upgrades, you should probably always be setting the values for both daemons to '1')

Add input_filter to the startup manifest

This is the scary part: if you mess up here, you've bricked your car. Edit the /jci/sm/sm.conf file to add input_filter to the startup sequence.

<service type="process" name="input_filter" path="/tmp/mnt/data/input_filter" autorun="yes" reset_board="no" retry_count="0" affinity_mask="0x02">
    <dependency type="service" value="stage1"/>

We want input_filter to run immediately before the first process which consumes input, which is devices. Therefore, we need to add a dependency for it on the input_filter service. (FIXME: Is there a race here?)

<service type="jci_service" name="devices" path="/jci/devices/svc-com-jci-cpp-devices.so" autorun="yes" retry_count="0" args="" reset_board="yes" affinity_mask="0x02">
    <dependency type="service" value="stage_1"/>
    <dependency type="service" value="settings"/>
>>> <dependency type="service" value="input_filter"/>

After modifying sm.conf and triple checking that it's correct and no mistaken changes have been made, reboot with '1' in /tmp/mnt/data/enable_input_filter and verify that the voice recognition button no longer triggers the stock voice prompt.

At this point, everything is probably working, so you should be able to enable both services permanently.



-- 1. Placeholder name until I can think of something better; Mazda please don't sue me
2. Currently only tested with the 2014 Mazda 3