Volkswagen Smileage App in the Works


  • Volkswagen Smileage App Picture

    Volkswagen Smileage App Picture

    The Volkswagen Smileage app aims to "maximize fun on every drive," according to VW. | March 08, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Volkswagen Smileage, a new social media app concocted by the automaker and Google, is being pitched as a way for people to record and share their journeys.
  • Volkswagen Smileage will work with all vehicles, not just VWs, the automaker said.
  • Smileage will be launched in beta form in the coming months and will be made available first on Android phones.

HERNDON, Virginia — Volkswagen Smileage, a new social media app concocted by the automaker and Google, is being pitched as a way for people to record and share their journeys.

Volkswagen Smileage will work with all vehicles, not just VWs, the automaker said. The app does not allow "any driver interaction while on the road, but instead works seamlessly in the background," said VW.

It measures the "fun factor" of each trip using a metric called "smileage." Smileage is based on weather, traffic, location, time and social interactions.

"Whether they're taking the kids to soccer camp or setting off with friends on a weekend camping trip, Volkswagen Smileage gives them a way to connect and share their experiences with their friends, family, and others," said Volkswagen in a statement on Thursday. "What's more, this app will be available to everyone and work with all cars, so everybody can have a little bit of VW in their life, regardless of what car they drive."

Smileage will be launched in beta form in the coming months and will be made available first on Android phones. It will launch later this year. Those interested in the app can sign up for more information online.

The app is part of a larger push by Volkswagen to increase the happiness factor when it comes to cars. The automaker's 2013 Super Bowl commercial was entitled "Get In. Get Happy". As of Friday, the commercial had exceeded over 13 million views on YouTube.

Not everyone is smiling about Smileage, though.

Paul McNamara of NetworkWorld.com blogged that Smileage is the "latest attempt to get us to share our every waking moment" and noted "cars just are not happy places." The VW app was characterized as a "non-starter."

Edmunds says: Not exactly clear just yet how Smileage will react to blizzards, massive traffic jams or road rage.

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