BY GERRY MILES
Do we really
want need a happy automotive app?
SmileDrive connects to a user’s car—any kind of car—through Bluetooth® wireless technology, and runs in the background to track data for both everyday commutes and road trips. After a drive is complete, the app uses factors like location, distance, time and weather to deliver users their Smile Score and with “virtual stickers,” for unique accomplishments.
• Seamless Sharing – The app is linked to the user’s Google+ account and friends can be invited to follow these trips online, commenting on photos and posts along the way. Everything recorded is shareable, should the user choose.
• Smilecast – Friends can either be invited to join along in the car via Google+, or watch the journey on the web. At the end of the trip, the driver receives a brief video compiling the highlights of their trip, which can then be shared with friends and family.
• Stickers – Users can earn fun, virtual bumper stickers when they unlock special achievements, such as the “Night Owl” sticker for late night drives. These can be shared on any social network.
• Punches – Users can play a re-imagined version of the classic “PunchDub” game. When two Volkswagen SmileDrive users encounter each other en route, the app will register a “virtual punch”.
• Smile Score – At the end of each drive, SmileDrive calculates the number of points earned while on the road. Points are a function of the number of punches, stickers earned, traffic conditions, weather, and more.
• Find My Car – By logging the vehicle’s last position, SmileDrive can help users find their car via Google Maps, and receive corresponding walking directions when available.
• Bluetooth® wireless technology – Through pairing the app with the car, drives are automatically recorded when the user starts and stops the vehicle. If the car doesn’t have Bluetooth technology, the app can be manually started and stopped before driving begins.
The app requires compatible Android device. Standard data rates apply.