MINI USA's Roadside Assist App Brings Help With A Button Press

The much-hyped CARS program may be drawing to a close, but you know you you'll still be longing for one of those cute-as-a-button MINI Coopers even after that clunker rebate vanishes. If you needed just one more excuse to give your local dealer a visit, how's this? MINI USA has today become the first automaker in the US to offer a dedicated mobile assist application for iPhone and select BlackBerry handsets.

MINI owners simply download the free application, fill in vital vehicle statistics (VIN number, etc.) as well as their home address and name, and then upload an image of their car should they choose. Once this information is saved in the application, owners can simply call up the app and mash for help should they need roadside assistance for any reason. If they use this app, all of the vehicle's vital information will be beamed directly to the assistant, saving critical time in the "come and help me!" process. Furthermore, this app can find your current location via GPS and give the operator your vehicle's exact location.

If an owner calls for help through the app, he/she will receive a short call to confirm that they really need help, and then someone will be dispatched based on the information in the app. All told, this could be a huge time saver, and it certainly helps to get accurate information across during a time when you'll likely be too stressed to even think straight. So, when are you other automakers planning on following suit?