If you want in on the connected-car action but your vehicle is older than the internet itself, Verizon's new Hum service may help. It's a $15 per month plan that includes an iOS or Android smartphone app and CDMA-enabled hardware that plugs into an OBD-II port, something all 1996 and newer vehicles have. (The port is also used by Automatic Link and other apps.) The device gathers engine diagnostic data and relays warnings to a visor-mounted speaker device and the smartphone app. If something's wrong, the app can provide more info and even an estimated cost for any repairs.
It has a built-in GPS to track your vehicle, giving you a one-touch link to roadside and emergency assistance. The same tech can help police find a stolen vehicle or guide you to your car if you forgot where you left it. The visor-mounted module also functions as a Bluetooth speaker for your smartphone. If all of this is giving you deja vu, the operator first revealed the service at the Detroit Auto Show in January as Verizon Vehicle. However, Big Red changed the name since you can sign up if you're not a Verizon mobile client. You can buy a two-year plan for $15 per month, including hardware, but only at the Hum site -- it's not currently available at Verizon stores.
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Tags: connectedcar diagnostics onstar roadsideassistance smartphone stolenvehicle verizon