Sékr’s New AI Tool Makes Road Trip Planning Easy

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Sékr, a startup offering a mobile app for outdoor enthusiasts and campers, has introduced an AI tool for planning road trips. Named Copilot, the tool is now available on the updated Sékr website and app, which serves over 100,000 users.

Founded in 2016, Sékr aims to assist the “van life” community in finding campsites tailored to specific needs like shower facilities, restrooms, overnight van parking, or free Wi-Fi. The app also enables users to connect with fellow travelers for shared outdoor activities such as rock climbing or skiing.

In December 2023, the startup was acquired by Peace Vans, placing it under new leadership. Sékr and Peace Vans CEO Harley Sitner, who had been using the app for seven years, noticed it had become inactive last year. The original founders intended to shut down the app due to a shifting fundraising climate in late 2022, despite a strong user base. Sitner, a former product manager at Microsoft, was approached to acquire Sékr in November 2023.

Eight months later, the startup now aims to enhance journey planning with updated app features that adhere to Sékr’s original mission.

With its AI-powered road trip planning tool, Sékr combines natural language processing with proprietary data from user reviews and ratings. Copilot also utilizes publicly-available data for creating road trip itineraries. The tool integrates technologies from OpenAI’s GPT, Meta’s Llama, and others.

Image Credits: Sékr

“For the millions of people traveling by van, car, or RV this summer, Sēkr Copilot will help you bypass hours of trip planning to quickly deliver a better itinerary,” Sitner said in a statement. “AI isn’t going to create a panoramic sunset, but it will help you overcome the notorious planner’s block, set you up for serendipitous moments, and connect you to an authentic road trip experience co-created by Sēkr’s incredible community of dedicated users.”

Copilot can be accessed via the new “Trip Planning” tab on Sékr’s website or app. Upon opening the tool, users answer a series of prompts about their destination and preferences. The tool then provides a customizable travel itinerary featuring camping destinations, food stops, and outdoor activities.

The intention behind Copilot is to help travelers find unique spots they might otherwise overlook. For example, the tool might suggest a taco truck on a dusty road in Baja, reputed by users to offer better food than a highly-rated Denny’s in Los Angeles. It might also direct users to explore secluded, unmarked areas on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land with scenic views.

Sékr is available on iOS and Android. The app’s basic features are free. Users can unlock premium features like offline maps, event discount codes, and unlimited messaging and searching for $4.99 per month.

The startup previously secured $2.25 million in seed funding led by Storyteller Overland, with contributions from Backstage Capital, Techstars, Ad Astra Ventures, Crescent Ridge Ventures, and Andy Ballester, co-founder of GoFundMe.

Aisha Malik
Aisha Malik
Aisha is a consumer news reporter. Previously, she was a telecom reporter at MobileSyrup. Aisha holds an honours bachelor’s degree from University of Toronto and a master’s degree in journalism from Western University.

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