Just in time for one of the busiest driving periods of the year, automaker Subaru is teaming up with The Weather Channel to sponsor a new map layer in the latter’s mobile application that provides current road conditions so users can choose the safest routes.
The Driving Difficult Index brings an interactive map layer with road conditions to The Weather Channel app for the first time. The information was previously only available on weather.com as the Commuter Forecast.
„This effort is a great combination of two brands that both focus on safety,” said Lauren Lee, client solutions manager at The Weather Company. “Driver safety is the top priority for Subaru, and The Weather Channel shares a mission of safety, providing the most precise weather data to help drivers make better decisions before getting on the road, especially during the holidays when there’s an increase in cars on the road.
„From The Weather Channel App on iPhone or Android, the user scrolls down to the radar module,” she said. „Below the map, a quick line explains to the user how weather in their location is impacting road conditions, such as „Likely wet on the road. Plan your trip ahead!” or „It’s sunny and road conditions look good.”
„It is important we don’t simply tell our users it’s raining, but rather focus on translating what rain could mean for their road conditions. This is another way our app provides personal and actionable information for each user.”
The Driving Difficult Index map leverages weather data and technology from The Weather Channel to create an actionable tool so users can view road conditions based on weather and make more informed choices for their commutes and travel plans.
Subaru is sponsoring the interactive map, helping the brand to reinforce its own messaging around driving and safety at a time when consumers are likely to be open to hearing it, such as when they are on a long road trip or heading home before the holidays.
By tapping the road conditions map, users can access the more comprehensive Difficulty Driving map layer, which shows where driving may be impaired when these conditions are present to help users plan their best driving route.
„When users click through, they see the Driving Difficulty Index (DDI) screen with Subaru, and the radar map with a defaulted road conditions layer showing their location,” Ms. Lee said. „When a user engages with the DDI for the first time, they are served a DDI Tutorial that highlights the color coded key, explains why the DDI is important to them, and connects Subaru to the experience.
„Subaru’s creative then shows up within the DDI details page on mobile app,” she said. „In addition, Subaru branding is attributed to the DDI on TV during weekend planning segments and key driving holidays, as well as within the Commuter Forecast on weather.com online and on mobile Web.”
Mobile users want immediacy
Additionally, Android app users can choose to view a traffic conditions layer within the Driving Difficulty Index map.
The road conditions map is available directly from the app’s home screen, showing current road conditions for the user’s location. It rates potentially hazardous conditions based on six core weather parameters: ice, snow, wet, ponding, high winds and low visibility.
The launch of the Driving Difficulty Index closely follows The Weather Channel’s recent app update for iPhone and Android, bringing more contextual, personalized information and a dynamic home screen design (see story). http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/software-technology/21603.html
The new index addresses mobile users’ desire for the most up-to-date information possible.
„This is the first time the Driving Difficulty Index has been in our mobile app, and we did take some learnings from what users look for with the Commuter Forecast on weather.com,” Ms. Lee said. „For example, online users are in planning mode, so the map shows forecasted conditions to help plan their route.
„However, road conditions on the app pulls in current conditions, which is what the mobile user is looking for — immediacy before they get in the car,” she said. „In addition, on weather.com we see a spike in activity when local areas experience severe weather, especially severe winter weather.
„This confirms how useful and important the DDI is to our users in a time of need. We’ve been able to take these learnings and structure our cross-platform program with Subaru to reach more users during this critical time.”