Last March we reported on BMW’s new social network, The BMW Motorrad Community, which is an online community where riders can meet up virtually, plan rides and share their experiences. The most interesting part of the service is the TourFinder where riders can upload their favorite tours into a searchable database of roads. This useful roadfinder service, however, was and still is filled with entries on European roads — looks like it hasn’t caught on with riders in the U.S.
Now BMW Group Financial Service has created a new app called “The Ultimate Drive.” Available for iOS and Android devices, the app is described as a “social navigation mobile app” that allows users to discover the best roads to drive in over 50 countries. While intended for BMW automobile drivers, great driving roads are generally great motorcycling roads, too, and this app is filled with great roads in the U.S. Users can rank, comment and share those roads via Facebook or email as well as sending the routes to GPS devices.
BMW Group Financial Services says they are currently developing similar versions for BMW motorcyclists and MINI owners and will be extending all applications for its financial service customers in the near future. Future versions will include gaming features like the ability for BMW Financial Service customers to gain points and achieve high rankings.
“As a company, we pride ourselves on our ongoing uses of technology to build stronger relationships with our customers,” said Ed Robinson, President and CEO for BMW Group Financial Services. “Not only does ‘The Ultimate Drive’ app allow us to broaden our awareness as an organization to a vast audience, but more so, it provides us the ability to nurture a two-way dialogue with our customers in an engaging way.”
“A social app succeeds when it forms a community of users with similar interests. A mobile app succeeds when it shrinks that large community into something local and familiar,” said Pawan Murthy, General Manager of Online Business for BMW Group Financial Services. “Within a few seconds of opening the app, ‘The Ultimate Drive’ connects you to driving enthusiasts who have discovered great roads in your neighborhood – roads you may have overlooked. Sharing that joy of discovery is why we are eager to launch this app to everyone.”
The app was developed by San Francisco-based software and technology firm, SocialNav, Inc. While utilizing the latest in navigation technology, “The Ultimate Drive” still remains simple to use — after downloading the app, the user allows the app to find their location and then it displays the stretches of road which others have contributed as the best ones in the area. Conversely, when the user has generated their own favorite stretch, it is as easy as three taps to share via email or Facebook or send to one’s favorite GPS device or app.