New Social Media App From Volkswagen Aims to Maximize Fun on Every Drive

New Social Media App From Volkswagen Aims to Maximize Fun on Every Drive 
HERNDON, VA and AUSTIN, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 03/07/13 --    

--  Volkswagen Smileage allows drivers to record and share their journeys,
    adding a little bit of fun to every trip, from daily commutes to
    holiday expeditions

Volkswagen of America and Google today announced their partnership on
"Volkswagen Smileage," a new social media application built using a
suite of Google products and platforms. The app launches later this
year and will allow people to record and share how much fun they're
having while on the road, through a new metric called "smileage."
Users can share their road trip experiences dynamically through
photos, videos, and social commentary via interactive maps. In
addition, Smileage users are rewarded for connecting with others that
they encounter along the way, through a re-imagination of the classic
"Punch Dub" game. 
"Volkswagen owners have demonstrated to us again and again that they
are a very active community of fans that love to talk about their
cars and the roads they travel," said Kevin Mayer, Vice President of
Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "Now, thanks to our
partnership with Google on building this new social media
application, we have a way for them to do so while doing exactly what
they enjoy: Being in their cars. 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. 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." 
How Volkswagen Smileage Works
 Smileage is a simple-to-use, smart
phone-based application and web service, and will be made available
first on Android phones. To start using Smileage, a driver simply
needs to sign in with their Google account and ensure that their
smart phone is synced with their car. If the driver chooses, the app
can automatically connect each time the car is started.  
Drivers can choose from "passive" or "active" modes in the app.
Neither mode allows any driver interaction while on the road, but
instead works seamlessl
y in the background. The app measures the fun
factor of each trip using a metric called smileage, based on signals
such as weather, traffic, location, time, and social interactions;
so, for example, a long drive on a sunny Saturday afternoon might
accumulate more smileage than a morning commute in the snow. You can
use it with any car, not just Volkswagen vehicles. 
For people who enjoy a more visual and real-time approach to
documenting their travels on the road, the "Trip Mode" of Smileage
can be used. This allows for a more customizable experience: A drive
can be named, passengers can be tagged, and any photos and videos
taken by passengers on the road can be automatically added to an
interactive map. Users can chose to share this map with friends and
family, allowing them to see the trip as it unfolds. Once the trip is
over, Smileage will create a summary that a driver can share with
whomever they choose, or keep entirely to themselves. 
Volkswagen Smileage will be launched in beta in the coming months.
Those interested in gaining early access can sign up at  
About Volkswagen of America, Inc.
 Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of
America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a
subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Volkswagen's operations in the United States include research and
development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution
centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service
centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in
Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world's largest
producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker.
Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, GTI,
Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan
vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. 
This press release and images of the Volkswagen Smileage powered by
Google application are available at 
"VW," "Volkswagen," all model names and the Volkswagen logo are
registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG.  
Always pay careful attention to the road, and do not drive while
distracted. The Volkswagen Smileage app should be used only when it
is safe and appropriate. Data rates may apply. 
Image Available: 
Leigh Anne Sessions 
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