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Verizon's New Service Aims to Connect Older Cars, Keep Them Humming

Introduced in January as Verizon Vehicle, the $14.99/month service offers roadside assistance, diagnostics and more at the touch of a button.


After a brief delay, Verizon is ready with a service designed to bring some connected car features to older vehicles.

The $14.99-per-month service, dubbed Hum, offers roadside assistance, car diagnostics and help locating a mechanic. A companion app also lets users track vehicle records and helps drivers remember where they parked and track the time on their parking meters.

The service, originally known as Verizon Vehicle, debuted in January at the North American Auto Show and was supposed to launch by June.

Powering the service are two pieces of hardware — a bluetooth speaker that mounts on a visor and a wireless modem that plugs into the diagnostic port included on most cars built since 1996.

Because the kit has its own modem, Hum subscribers don’t have to be Verizon phone customers. The name change was designed, in part, to make that distinction clear.

Verizon is not alone in tapping the OBD-II port to help wire up older cars, though different companies are using it in different ways. The port, originally designed to help mechanics diagnose mechanical problems, is being tapped by Metromile to offer usage-based insurance, while Mojio has a device that connects cars to a range of different applications.

The connected car and the impact of mobile technology on the automotive industry are going to be key topics at our upcoming Code/Mobile conference, which takes place Oct. 7-8 in Half Moon Bay, Calif. For more information — and to register for the conference — visit the Code/Mobile website.

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