Verizon Launches Aftermarket Telematics Service - Twice

Verizon Launches Aftermarket Telematics Service

Self-installed system provides GPS-based assistance, stolen-vehicle tracking, and more
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Verizon’s Hum service uses a visor-mounted Bluetooth speaker and OBD reader that users plug into a vehicle’s OBD port.

Verizon’s telematics unit rolled out Verizon’s first aftermarket telematics service, which offers such capabilities as GPS-based emergency assistance and stolen-vehicle tracking.

The service, called Hum, was announced early this year and originally called Verizon Vehicle. It was also originally scheduled to be available in April.

Self-installed Hum products are available at hum.com or by calling 1-800-711-5800. The products will be shipped directly to a consumer’s home. The company had previously announced plans to roll the products out to retailers in late 2015, but an update on those plans was not available.

The products consist of a visor-mounted Bluetooth speaker and an OBD reader, which plugs into a vehicle’s OBD port. The OBD reader incorporates Verizon wireless connectivity, GPS and Bluetooth to connect to the Bluetooth speaker. It works with almost every vehicle made since 1996.

Hum provides GPS-based roadside assistance and emergency services, stolen-vehicle tracking, vehicle-diagnostic updates, and service reminders. Diagnostic updates are sent to users in near real time to their cellphone via text, email or push notification appearing on an optional Android and iOS app. The service also features two-way voice.

Drivers summon roadside assistance or emergency services through a button on the Bluetooth speaker. Another button summons emergency help. In case the driver is unable to press the emergency button, the system detects crashes and calls the Verizon Vehicle support team, which summons help if no one responds to questions.

Drivers can also talk through the Bluetooth speaker to ASE-certified mechanics to get details on diagnostic alerts and how much it would cost to make a repair.

The service costs $14.99/month for the first vehicle for a two-year subscription. The subscription price includes $120 worth of equipment. Subscriptions for additional vehicles will cost less.

Said Verizon Telematics CEO Andrés Irlando, “This service equips drivers on the road today with the same level of information about their vehicles that fitness wearables deliver about our health.”

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