BMW Creates “Ultimate Drive” Phone App to Find Twisty Roads, But Is It Safe?

By Jacob Brown | August 11, 2011
BMW has jumped on the “gamification” bandwagon with a new smartphone app called “The Ultimate Drive,” which uses Google Maps technology to find the best driving roads nearby. But could it be more of a danger to drivers than a fun gimmick to those taking to the open road? Developed by SocialNav along with BMW Financial, the app allows drivers in 50 countries to share their favorite roads, rank them, email, share, and post on their thoughts on Facebook. Users will also be able to download the routes onto their navigation systems. Already, BMW claims almost 1 million people have downloaded the free app. Pawan Murthy, manager of online business for BMW Financial, said “The Ultimate Drive” is meant to foster a relationship between the German automaker and its owners. It’s available for non-BMW drivers, too. For use in a state like California, for instance, we question its safety factor as using it while driving to find a good road could result in distracted driving or a ticket. Murthy cautioned against using the app as a substitute for a navigation system, though. “Follow the rules of the road, and drive safely,” he said. “This is more of a pastime than traditional GPS. It’s not meant to find you the quickest route; it’s a route to keep in your back pocket.” “The Ultimate Drive” is available in both the Apple App store and Android marketplace for driving enthusiasts of all smartphones to download. Soon, BMW plans to make similar apps available for the Mini and BMW Motorcycles divisions. However, the app is not compatible with BMW’s iDrive in-dash navigation system. Our Take: At Automotive.com, we're passionate about cars, and we love finding great roads. However, we find that despite Murthy’s disclaimers (which were not listed in the press release we received), “The Ultimate Drive” lends itself towards creating distracted driving. Keep both hands off the phone and both eyes on the road when operating a vehicle. Source: BMW
  • Ultimatedrive3screens
 
2 comments
Herpina De Castro
Herpina De Castro

I think this is a fabulous idea, and I like the concept of pulling together the german engineers and the driver thats always a nice idea. I got to test this out in the new idrive while test driving a beautiful automobile at my local bmw of newport and was told there that this app existed. Its great but I can see how it oculd be dangerous to motorists constantly looking at it. Better drive smart or dont download the app.

Jim Ken
Jim Ken

Hi there, I use this app and find it very useful so, my +1 for this.

close