Subaru is on a new expedition and this journey doesn’t require all-wheel-drive. In fact, all it requires is some cardboard and a special app. The automaker is joining Google on its Expeditions Pioneer Program that equips teachers around the world to take their classes on virtual field trips.
“Subaru is proud to support Google in helping to bring rich, innovative and educational learning experiences to students around the globe. We saw an opportunity to create excitement for adventure in the classroom, while lending our zero-landfill passions to help ensure that the planet’s wonders, like our National Parks, will remain for future generations,” says Alan Bethke, Subaru of America’s vice president of marketing.
The program launched this month and Subaru says that it is in line with its Love Promise initiative that supports organizations that matters to Subaru drivers with a focus on animals, environment, education, and community.
The automakers involvement in the program will help promote zero-landfill manufacturing and responsible exploration of America’s National Parks. Subaru will also help provide thousands of schools globally with Expedition kits, which include a tablet and Expedition training for the teachers and smartphones with Cardboard viewers for students.
The Expeditions program will be available in schools in California, Texas, Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Schools in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, and the United Kingdom will also offer the program.
Expeditions uses Google Cardboard, a box like viewing device that is held to the face, to take classes on virtual reality tours through an app for mobile phones and tablets. Teachers select where they want to take their class – including museums, other continents, the ocean, and outer space – and the app leads the class through a virtual field trip the includes stops and points of interest along the way.
Subaru believes the the program will promote the spirit of adventure in students around the globe. It is the same adventurous spirit that drives the design of its cars, which, Subaru says, focus on adventure, fuel-efficiency, and eco-friendliness.
One example of Subaru’s adventuresome and plant-friendly vehicles is its popular Forester. The 2016 Forester starts at $22,395 and comes with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder BOXER engine with 170-horsepower and AWD. It gets an estimated 24 city and 32 highway mpg and offers drivers 34.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded up and 74.7 cubic-feet with them folded.