Want connected car features without splashing out on a new car? That’ll be $15/mo …
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 an Apple 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 iPhone or Android 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.