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.


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