Verizon launches into connected car space with Hum


Verizon Telematics has announced the commercial availability of Hum, which promises to be a “smart, connected driving experience for more than 150 million vehicles.”

Hum’s staying power, like a lot of software this publication has assessed in recent weeks, is that it can be connected to practically any car. It can be installed through an onboard diagnostic reader (OBD), with a Bluetooth-enabled device on the visor, which updates drivers with real-time data on roadside assistance, including alerting authorities to stolen vehicles and if a crash is detected.

The service was first announced in January as Verizon Vehicle, and is powered by Verizon Telematics deployed to prominent automakers. Other features in the service include a tool which helps drivers find their vehicle and counts down how much time is left on the meter, as well as maintenance reminders and alerts.

“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 travelling across town or across the country,” said Verizon Telematics CEO Andres 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.

“Simply put, Hum democratises the safety and convenience of vehicle connectivity,” he added.

This method of ‘connecting’ legacy cars is not new; startups such as Automatic, which secured a $24 million series B funding round in June, and Vinli, which smashed its Indiegogo campaign in the same month, are already pursuing this option. Yet those companies, it would certainly be argued, do not have the resources of Verizon.

Two year subscription plans for Hum start at $14.99 per month alongside taxes, fees and equipment – the hardware is around $120. Other vehicles can be added more cheaply. Find out more here.

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