TomTom Curfer – How to make your car happy


TomTom Curfer is a new product developed by TomTom Telematics that promises to make you and your car happier.

CURFER-box-LINK-and-cable-UKHow are they doing this? By using gamification techniques on top of innovative technology. TomTom Curfer is made out of two parts that work closely with each other. First you need to have a car that has On Board Diagnostics and plug in the hardware named LINK 100. On Board Diagnostics provides all the necessary data concerning your cars performance, like G-force, acceleration, and even braking efficiency.


After you install LINK 100 its time to download the application on your phone and pair them via Bluetooth. Now all your car’s data starts being fed into the application and tracks your driving efficiency. It gives you feedback on what you did wrong or right. The better you perform the bigger the smile on your car’s face, giving you immediate feedback on the effectiveness of your driving.


The application also provides users with other useful information like battery voltage, oil temperature, engine load and an easy way to locate where you parked your car. A feature especially useful to people like me that have to look through the whole parking lot to find their car! Another interesting feature of the Curfer is that it can track your performance on a certain route when you turn the GPS on. After having completed a route, let’s say your commute to work, you can see how you performed in every step of the journey and think about how you can improve next time.


Now this product looks like a great gamification solution right from the get go. The aim is to develop positive driving behaviours and provide the users with useful information about their cars.  The data stream provided by the car itself provides both the feedback for the user and data to measure the effectiveness of the gamification solution.

Some of the gamification elements used in the application are: points, that measure your performance and rate you on a scale of one to a hundred scale; social sharing as you can share your scores and compete with your friends that use the app; and badges awarded for various driving achievements. You may say that these elements are pretty basic and not really new to gamification but not all gamification solutions need to be innovative in the way that they reward the user. You need to know who the users are and what will work for them and the specific project. Especially the element of competition among drivers should be quite effective as many car enthusiasts are quite competitive individuals. Sometimes simple is more effective and I also really like the smile on the car’s face as visual feedback! Overall the TomTom Curfer is a great example of how raw data and gamification techniques really work together and drive you forward.




About the author 

Pete Baikins

Pete Baikins is an international authority on gamification, a lifelong gamer, successful entrepreneur and a lecturer. As CEO of Gamification+ Ltd he mentors and trains companies world-wide on the use of gamification to solve business challenges. Gamification+ won the Board of Trade Award from the UK's Department of International Trade in January 2019.

Pete is co-host of the health gamification podcast Health Points and is also Chair of Gamification Europe, the annual conference for Gamification practitioners.

Pete is an Honorary Ambassador for GamFed (International Gamification Confederation), having previously been the Chair from 2014 to February 2019, whose aim is to spread best practices within and support the gamification industry.

After 15 years as a Lecturer on gamification and entrepreneurship at the University of Brighton he now guest lectures on Gamification at King’s College London and at ESCP Europe at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Over the past 20 years Pete has built and sold two businesses. One was in security software and the more recent one was a telecoms and internet connectivity business. He is also an Ambassador for Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

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