Love driving? Waze’s data scientists want to show you the fun way home

Volkswagen Waze GTI Superdrives

When you use Waze, odds are you’re happy to keep moving at any speed, on any road. The Google-owned app provides turn-by-turn directions while helping users avoid traffic jams. In the United Kingdom, Volkswagen and Waze are teaming up to take real-time routing information into uncharted waters. They launched a campaign named GTI Superdrives to help driving enthusiasts find great roads to exercise their car on.

Waze asked its in-house team of data scientists to analyze roads and rank them based on a number of factors. Roads eligible for Superdrive status are scenic yet close to at least one point of interest. They include a high number of engaging corners. They’re roads on which users report little traffic and few accidents or other incidents. Using this information, Waze put together a list of the 75 best roads in the U.K. It then asked volunteer Waze Map Editors to double-check its selection.

Waze users will receive a notification when they’re within a 12-mile radius of a Superdrive road. If they’ve got time to spare, they can tap a GTI-shaped icon on their phone or on their car’s touchscreen and follow directions to the beginning of the road. Waze teamed up with Volkswagen to launch the program but enthusiasts don’t need to drive a GTI to participate. It’s open to anyone who likes driving, regardless of whether they’re into German hot hatches, American muscle cars, Italian exotics, or French econoboxes.

“Waze has always helped people save time on journeys, now we’re helping people discover great driving roads that are all about joy, not speed. We know that Waze users love to discover great routes, and obviously love the open road, so we can’t wait to see who can be the first to experience all of the GTI Superdrives,” said Finlay Clark, Waze’s country manager in the U.K., in a statement.

Volkswagen will sponsor the GTI Superdrive campaign in the U.K., where it offers three GTI-badged hot hatches: the Golf-based GTI we get in the United States and two smaller models based on the Polo and the up!, respectively. The campaign will run through the end of the summer. It marks the first time Waze has used the data generated by its two-million-plus users to rank roads based purely on driving enjoyment.

It hopefully won’t be the last, but as of writing we won’t see the Superdrive feature in the U.S. Volkswagen of America told Digital Trends it wasn’t involved in planning the campaign and it’s not currently planning on launching something similar in the U.S.

Social Media

Tumblr promises it fixed a bug that left user data exposed

A bug on blogging site Tumblr left user data exposed. The company says that once it learned of the flaw, it acted quickly to fix it, adding that it's confident no data linked to its users' accounts was stolen.
Mobile

Sprint now lets you add Hulu's Live TV service to your unlimited plan

Sprint recently introduced three new data plans to its roster -- Unlimited Basic , Unlimited Plus, and Unlimited Premium. Here, we break down your options to help you decide which one is best for you and your family.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ in-game tournaments will give you the chance to beat the pros

Epic Games is introducing in-game tournaments to Fortnite. The initial schedule includes five tournaments, with commemorative pins going to the victors. Down the road, the pins might grant you access into additional rounds.
Cars

'4WD' or 'AWD'? Which setup is right for you?

Although four-wheel drive (4WD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) are related, they are actually quite different in how they operate. Here, we talk about the fundamental differences between the two systems, and what it means for you as a driver.
Cars

Google Maps now shows EV owners the way to the nearest charging station

Google Maps now lets electric-car owners find the nearest charging station with ease. It's also added data on the number and types of ports available, charging speeds, and notes on the business where the station is located.
Product Review

Audi's new A8 is so sophisticated and serene, it practically deletes potholes

The 2019 Audi A8’s outline looks promising: Level 3 autonomous driving capability, haptic-feedback infotainment screens, rear-wheel steering, Matrix LED headlights and OLED taillights, plus a predictive suspension.
Cars

Heads up, George Jetson: Terrafugia starts taking orders for its flying car

The Terrafugia Transition flying car will go on sale next year, roughly a decade after the first prototype rolled out of its hangar. Terrafugia promises improvements, including a hybrid powertrain, to make up for the long wait.
Cars

At 503 mph, Turbinator II is the world’s fastest wheel-driven vehicle

The Turbinator II is a four-wheel drive streamliner powered by a 5,000-horsepower helicopter engine, and it just achieved 503.332 mph at the Bonneville Salt Flats. That's an unofficial record for a wheel-driven car.
Cars

Lyft has a new fixed-price subscription plan for frequent passengers

Lyft wants you to save money by using rideshare services instead of owning a car. The new Lyft All-Access Plan monthly rideshare trip subscription includes 30 rides a month with a small discount for additional trips.
Cars

Could the next Mazda3 boast a fuel-saving breakthrough in engine tech?

Mazda released a teaser video that likely previews the next Mazda3. Expected to make its global debut at the L.A. auto show, the next 3 will wear a more curvaceous design and offer one of the most advanced engines in the automotive…
Cars

Workhorse takes on diesel with lighter, cheaper NGEN-1000 electric delivery van

Ohio-based Workhorse Group claims its new NGEN-1000 electric delivery van costs the same as a conventional diesel van and can haul a similar amount of cargo. A lower curb weight makes this possible.
Cars

Forget transponders with Peasy’s nationwide pay-as-you-go toll service

Verra Mobility launched Peasy, a consumer highway and bridge toll payment service. Designed to be less hassle than managing traditional transponder or toll tag accounts, Peasy pays tolls as they are levied across most of the U.S.
Cars

Just 10 people will get to put this limited-edition Audi R8 in their garages

The 2018 Audi R8 V10 Plus Competition makes use of Audi's motor sports experience to turn up the performance dial. Decreased weight and increased aerodynamic downforce make this R8 a track monster.