Volkswagen SmileDrive

The first social app designed to maximize fun on every drive.

by Volkswagen

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The Story

People are spending more and more time in their cars. At the same time, consumers, particularly millennials, are looking for ways to share their experiences and create meaning around everyday occurrences, like their morning commute. 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.

  • Volkswagen SmileDrive
  • Volkswagen SmileDrive

This project was built using Google products and open web technologies available to anyone. For example, the Android platform allowed us 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.

The Technology

Geo APIs

The Results

Launch date: August 6, 2013

By creating something that makes people’s everyday lives more fun, we brought Volkswagen’s brand promise -- “It’s not the miles, it’s how you live them” -- to life in a tangible way. 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


App downloads within first month of launch


Average minutes driven with the app


Hours spent to date viewing Smilecasts

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