If you would prefer NOT to be punched in the arm by passengers in the car whenever they spy a Beetle on the road, then you might prefer the modern, high-tech version of the game -- called SmileDrive -- playable on your smart phone. (Sorry Apple fans, the game is not yet available for iPhone users.)
Whether you call it “Slug Bug,” “Punch Buggy,” or “Slug Dub,” the free app from Volkswagen and powered by Google has re-imagined the classic car game, automatically allowing people to collect “punches” each time they encounter another Volkswagen also using the app. But the app also does much more than that!
Aside from preventing bruises, SmileDrive is designed to maximize fun on every trip, by connecting to a user’s car—any kind of car—through Bluetooth® wireless technology, to run in the background and track data for both everyday commutes and road trips. (Drivers cannot interact with the app, nor receive any notifications, while the car is in motion.) Then, after a drive is complete, the app uses factors like location, distance, time, and weather to deliver users their Smile Score and awards them with virtual bumper “stickers” for unique accomplishments earned while out and about. (I wish I had installed the app for my 3400-mile summertime roadtrip across the southwest United States!)