Ever try to find entertaining roads if you’re new to an area, or just passing through? You could try to hit up locals, but that takes time and research. You could go to Google Maps, but that doesn’t tell you much about road conditions, speed enforcement or even average traffic volume. It certainly doesn’t rate the roads on their entertainment value, which means you’ve got to eat a lot of soggy, tastelessly sweet popcorn before you snag a prize.
Enter The Ultimate Drive, a new app from BMW Financial Services for both iPhone and Android platforms. Give it a location, and it spits back a list of nearby roads with entertainment value. Some are fun to drive, some are scenic and some blend the two to create existential driving bliss. You can upload your own routes, complete with comments and ratings, and you can even export existing routes to a GPS, or share with friends via e-mail or Facebook.
Future enhancements will award points for driving roads on the list, allowing you to compete with friends for utterly-pointless-but-entertaining titles. The app doesn’t limit you to 50 sates, either: it’s got listings for some 50 countries already, which means that you should plan on renting something fun next time you’re in Stuttgart on business.
We’d pay money for an app like this, but you don’t have to. It’s completely free, but that also means the information isn’t vetted. In other words, use it at your own risk: if the app lists a road as lax in speed enforcement, don’t plan on suing BMW when you get written up for 30 over and reckless driving. Likewise, if a route leads you deep into the woods and you wind up being turned into breakfast sausage by a chainsaw-wielding maniac, don’t expect BMW to write a big check for your next of kin. If you can live by those rules, I’d say the app is worth downloading.