CARS! CARS! Inc. has unveiled its new app, PEDAL, a social media community for auto enthusiasts. It’s a share space for car passion, but it’s also a place to build brands -- for free.
“From the standpoint of an influencer, you can post whatever you want,” says PEDAL co-founder Erik Lunseth, “and to promote your brand, you can put a link in there to a YouTube video. Or you can place a link to your website or a blog so that you can further promote your brand. That’s even more powerful to those marketeers in the auto industry.”
Erik, along with Caroline Connor, created PEDAL. ClearSummit CEO Shane Zilinskas and COO Kara McGehee oversaw the app’s architecture.
“We’re built in the spirit of other platforms,” Erik says, “but we allow our users to experience and share the fervor through an auto enthusiast’s lens.”
Through the app, users can share pictures and videos, and also share those assets to other social media platforms. Photos can be altered with filters and users can customize their own profile page to engage with other followers. A unique feature within PEDAL, which is not available via other social media applications, is the ability to add links to every post to provide additional information and further promote the content.
Other rules are broken as well:
“If you follow someone on PEDAL,” Erik says, “you will see every single one of their posts. That’s not true on many other platforms. On other platforms, you may see it in five or ten days, or five or ten seconds, or you may not see it at all, because they use algorithms to generate what they think are the most popular posts. So all you are going to see is someone you’re following, but that’s not true with us. If you are following someone, you will see all of their posts and you also see the [overall] most recent posts.”
The app is free to join and download, and you’re free to cross over to all the boards. Members range from car clubs and automotive photographers to professors and those who simply have a passion for vehicles.
PEDAL is powered by React Native, which allows the app to deploy new features to its users seamlessly.
“We do have plans to build the app,” Erik says, “but we’re trying to keep everything automobile centric. That’s what we are. We are an automotive enthusiast app. I do want to have people and businesses in the automotive industry further promote their brand and further promote what they are doing.”
The app serves lovers of both current and classic cars, as well as motorcycles and trucks.
“Electric vehicles, exotics, anything,” Erik adds. “And there are people who just love spotting cars -- finding unique cars and posting them.”
Erik’s lifelong passion for cars is what helped drive the app to its destination.
“As a child, I grew up with Matchbox cars,” he says. “My father had one of those 1979 10th anniversary Trans Ams. I also had those Lamborghini posters on the wall. I always bought Road & Track when they came out with their ten best. I’ve always been all about cars. I love not just the freedom that a car brings, but being able to experience different automobiles.”
Erik also addresses the not-completely-true notion that Millennials are not interested in cars.
“For a percentage, there will always be that passion for the automobile, the love of that vehicle,” he says. “What is evolving, what’s happening [electric cars, self-driving cars, ride sharing] is also exciting from a technology standpoint, but I think there is always going to be that part of the world that is passionate, who love it when new cars come out. There will always be those people who are collectors. There will always be a huge group of people who refuse to give up their vehicle.”
Erik’s advice to other entrepreneurs: keep driving your passion.
“I have a lot of passions in life,” he says, “and there are a lot of things I want to do and achieve. And I just try my best working toward those things. Also, seeking out advice from other people, because I certainly don’t know everything. I appreciate being able to find people who know more than I do. Getting good guidance and advice is also very important.”
PEDAL is now available as a free download in the Apple app store and on Google Play. Keyword search: Pedal – Passion for What Moves You.