Automakers have apps now. They can remotely start your car, check your vehicle's service status, help you subscribe to a litany of in-car features, and map a route to your next destination. Porsche's Roads app is a lot less useful if you're on a deadline, but it's perfect for those looking to enjoy the act of driving. The automaker launched the app in 2019 but recently overhauled it, putting the planning of scenic drives front and center.
The app requires users to set up an account and select one of three driving profiles: Balanced, Speedy, and Curvy. The names are self-explanatory. The app then uses artificial intelligence to design a route to the driver's destination that considers the number of curves, topography, landscape features, and points of interest along potential routes. It creates a route that best coincides with the user's selected driving profile.
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"It allows driving fans to find their own individual dream route with just a few clicks," said Robert Ader, Porsche's Chief Marketing Officer. However, the app offers more than just scenic route planning. Porsche is trying to build a community of users who find and share their favorite routes that might be off the beaten path. Porsche boasts that the app has more than 180,000 users.
Routes created by the app or shared by the community feature details like distance and the time to drive them, along with curve ratio, speed, and elevation change. You can also see how many users have "Liked" the route, and you can leave a comment. Some routes in the app were as short as five minutes, while several stretched past the 90-minute mark.
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The algorithms won't give you the fastest route to your destination, so don't use Porsche’s app if you're running behind. Instead, the app provides a route tailored to the driver. It features built-in navigation, and users can save and share driven routes with the Roads Community. Porsche Roads works with Apple CarPlay, the service transferring the course directly to the infotainment screens in many of the automaker's models. However, the app is free on iOS for the driver of any make or model, no Porsche 911 required.