In the decades since its name first graced a car, Porsche has built a name for itself as one of the most iconic sports car brands of all time. Porsche has accrued a long and storied track record in motorsport, and the company has stacked up public acclaim over the years with production cars like the 356, 550 Spyder, and of course, the iconic 911. Indeed, cars like the 911 Carrera T and the new 911 Speedster celebrate Porsche’s long history even to this day.
Yet, as cars like the 918 Spyder and the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid prove, Porsche is also always looking to the future. So perhaps it’s not all that surprising to see that the carmaker has created a new app called “Roads by Porsche.” In fact, in 2019, it seems perfectly Porsche.
Where the $113,300 Porsche 911 Carrera S is out of reach for most of those on the market for a new car, Roads by Porsche is free. In fact, you don’t even need to own one to get the most from it.
“We created Roads by Porsche for all those that consider driving more than just transportation,” Porsche’s Marco Brinkmann said. “It’s an app by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, but it’s bigger than that. It goes beyond the brand. It’s meant to be a scalable platform that allows us to create a sort of Michelin Guide for roads.”
At first glance, Roads by Porsche seems like merely another app, made to record and save your favorite driving roads. But Porsche is taking things a step further: Not unlike the way the cycling and running community have Strava, Porsche wants to use its new app to build a community for people who love to drive.
“The idea is not about collecting data or doing anything with the data. The idea is to let people meet,” Brinkmann said. “If you give [people] the opportunity to choose the quickest route, the most challenging route or the most scenic route…there will always be people who opt for Option C. We designed Roads by Porsche precisely for the Option C people, so they can easily share their favorite routes with other people all over the world.”
Granted, there are other route tracking apps out there that let you share the locations of your favorite strips of asphalt, but none have the backing of a brand like Porsche. The app’s interface is clean and modern, with the fit and finish you’d expect from a product of Stuttgart. (Figuratively speaking, at least.)
In addition to logging and sharing driving routes with over 500,000 other members, Roads by Porsche lets you check out thousands of other roads the world over from a massive catalog of user-approved routes. And when you want to live vicariously through other enthusiasts, there’s a user-generated magazine filled with stories detailing driving experiences and advice on the various routes.
Currently, the app is only available on iOS, but that’s set to change. There’s also an update in the pipeline for it to be compatible with Apple CarPlay coming early next month, for even more seamless integration into the driving experience.
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