Volkswagen, Google team up to make road trips more fun with ‘Smileage’ app

VW smileage appIf you’ve ever taken a road trip, you’ll know the long haul can be tiring. Realizing this, Volkswagen partnered with Google to make trips more fun, utilizing social media.

Available in a beta platform in the coming months for the Android market, Smileage will pair with your Volkswagen through your smartphone. With two modes, “passive” and “active,” the app will take into account distance traveled, weather, passengers tagged, and social interactions and assign a “smileage quotient.” As the Volkswagen press release indicates, “a sunny Saturday afternoon might accumulate more smileage than a morning commute in the snow.”

The app will catalog trips and integrate photos taken along the way and include geo-tags on an interactive map. Smileage users can then choose to share the trip with others through social media, of course.

Interestingly, Smileage can be used in any vehicle, not just with a Volkswagen.

The VW press release indicates the app works seamlessly in the background during the drive, not allowing for driver interaction. We assume this is to negate distracted driving. Eager to know how photos are integrated if the app isn’t accessible during the drive; we asked a VW rep for explanation. However, we have yet to receive a response.

We think this app is pretty cute. And that’s the perfect word to describe it: cute. While the app has no real utility, we can see users enjoying sharing their drives and accumulating as much smileage as possible.

If you’re interested in getting on board with the beta version of the Smileage app, visit vw.com/smileage to learn more.

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