If you feel a tinge of tech envy over the connected car features offered by many recent cars, but not enough to splash out on a new one (or you’re holding out for a Google self-driving car), Verizon’s $15/month Hum service could plug the gap.
Subscribers simply install hum through an onboard diagnostic (OBD) reader that is plugged into the vehicle’s OBD port, and a Bluetooth-enabled device that is clipped to the visor. The monthly subscription also includes a smartphone app allowing subscribers to monitor their vehicle health, contact help, and manage maintenance needs, even when they are not behind the wheel.
If the system detects an accident, it will automatically contact a response center, which will use the Bluetooth speakerphone unit to ask you to confirm that you need help. If you do, or you fail to respond, help will be dispatched to your location, which is obtained from the GPS in the OBD dongle. A panic button also allows you to call 911, and help is additionally available for mechanical breakdowns, with roadside assistance included in the monthly fee.
To make breakdowns less likely, the ODB dongle checks for error codes and reports them to an Android or iPhone app, complete with recommended repairs and even an estimate of the likely cost. Finally, if your car is stolen, the on-board GPS can transmit its location to police.
You will, though, need to sign up for a two-year contract. Full details in the press release below, and you can sign up at hum.com.
Verizon Announces the Availability of hum, Creating a Smart, Connected Driving Experience for more than 150 Million Vehicles
New Service Modernizes Roadside Assistance by Bringing Together Diagnostics and Expert Care, Delivering Ultimate Peace-of-Mind Behind the Wheel
Creating a Smart, Connected Driving Experience for more than 150 Million Vehicles
ATLANTA, Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Verizon Telematics today announced the commercial availability of hum, an aftermarket vehicle technology and subscription service that enables drivers on the road to make their car smarter through a simple solution regardless of their wireless service provider.
First announced in January at the North American International Auto Show as Verizon Vehicle, hum provides subscribers with a self-installed solution that helps predict potential issues, prevents breakdowns and offers protection when problems do arise. At the simple press of a button, drivers receive diagnostic information, pinpoint roadside assistance and live consultation with ASE-certified mechanics and emergency personnel on-demand.
“Hum is an important service, one that we feel passionately will help save lives and keep drivers and their loved ones protected whether they are traveling across town or across the country,” said Andrés Irlando, CEO at Verizon Telematics. “This service equips drivers on the road today with the same level of information about their vehicles that fitness wearables deliver about our health. Simply put, hum democratizes the safety and convenience of vehicle connectivity.”
Powered by Verizon Telematics technology deployed to some of the world’s most prominent automakers, insurance companies and fleet managers for more than a decade – as the telematics service provider’s first direct-to-consumer offering – hum is compatible with more than 150 million passenger vehicles on the road today.
How hum works Subscribers simply install hum through an onboard diagnostic (OBD) reader that is plugged into the vehicle’s OBD port, and a Bluetooth-enabled device that is clipped to the visor. The monthly subscription also includes a smartphone app allowing subscribers to monitor their vehicle health, contact help, and manage maintenance needs, even when they are not behind the wheel.
Through GPS-based technology, hum helps accurately dispatch advanced roadside assistance, alerts emergency personnel of a car’s location if a crash is detected, and assists authorities in locating a vehicle that has been reported stolen.
“By modernizing traditional ‘roadside assistance,’ hum is designed to deliver ultimate peace-of-mind behind the wheel,” Irlando added. “Now, in addition to being protected with live help and emergency services, drivers will know what their check engine light means and will be empowered with information and knowledge on how to get the problem fixed and what it may cost.”
Specific features include:
- Pinpoint Roadside Assistance for breakdowns, flat tires, overheating, dead battery or virtually anything else that might require towing or roadside assistance.
- Incident Alert & Emergency Assistance notifies the hum emergency response center if the system detects an incident. Help will be dispatched to the vehicle’s GPS location if an accident is confirmed or if there is no response from the driver for additional support. Drivers can also initiate a call at the push of a button to speak with a trained, live agent.
- Auto Health & Diagnostics helps predict and prevent mechanical issues before they become bigger problems by giving subscribers’ insights into their car’s health via the hum web portal and smartphone app.
- Mechanic’s Hotline connects subscribers with ASE Certified Mechanics providing personalized, immediate and unbiased consultation related to their vehicle’s repair and maintenance issues.
- Parking & Meter Tools help drivers find where they left their vehicle — using the hum smartphone app — while also keeping tabs on how much time is left on the meter.
- Maintenance Reminders and Alerts can be set for oil changes, tire rotations and more. Additionally, hum will automatically alert customers to vehicle troubles and general manufacturer recalls.
- Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance is available at the subscriber’s request – hum can provide information to authorities in order to help locate the stolen vehicle.
- Travel & Repair Discounts include hotels, vehicle rentals, related travel expenses, and auto maintenance.
Two year subscription plans start at $14.99 per month plus taxes, fees and equipment for the first vehicle (including the hardware, valued at $120) with the option to add other vehicles for less. For more information and to purchase hum, visit hum.com.