Volkswagen SmileDrive

The way people have been using and are using applications like Foursquare, on sharing their experiences and create meaning around everyday occurrences, has pushed Volkswagen and Google to deliver something even more usable for the daily driving experience.

Volkswagen’s new SmileDrive app gives people an engaging new way to keep track of their drives. Consumers can use the app to record distance traveled, time, and weather and pass that info to friends and family. SmileDrive even unlocks virtual stickers for going on extra-long rides, passing the same car as your own, or driving during a holiday weekend. All of this helps drivers engage with their journey in a new, memorable fashion.

The Smiledrive project was built using Google products and open web technologies available to anyone. For example, the Android platform allowed the company to quickly engineer a complex feature set, without skimping on design innovations. Google+ acts as the social backbone, enabling users to invite friends to view their Smilecasts, which are interactive travelogues. To show SmileDrive in action, YouTube and Google+ creators generated stories that are being shared in Lightbox and rich media ads across the Google Display Network.

By creating something that makes people’s everyday lives more fun, Volkswagen has been proud to the project. In the first weeks after launch, thousands of people engaged with the app by tracking their drives and sharing their memorable road trips with friends. To download the app, visit