Verizon's new smart tech is hoping to breathe new life into older vehicles with a new appendage to the smart suite offerings available through your phone.
For a monthly fee, Hum offers to upgrade the safety features in cars, to connect vehicles and drivers on the road - essentially, to make old cars, smart cars. Hum provides this new tech in three different component offerings - a diagnostic reader, free app, and Bluetooth speaker. The diagnostic reader (known as an OBD, or Onboard Diagnostic Reader) plugs into a port that has come standard in most vehicles for 20 years, and gets diagnostics directly from the vehicle, sending the data back to the Hum app.
The Hum also provides a Roadside Assistance feature, which connects the driver to a live mechanic or tow truck service, in the event of car trouble - via voice-activated bluetooth speaker. The Bluetooth speaker features three optional buttons; in addition to the mechanic hotline button, the speaker includes a red 911 emergency button, and a green one that engages the speaker phone.
It gets even better. The Hum can detect airbag deployment, and will activate the speaker to check on the driver, if it senses a collision. These features are futher optimized for an additional fee, which can make the Hum a personal hotspot, especially helpful in rural, deserted areas.
Among the myriad of safety features, the Hum can stream music and movies, all while simultaneously keeping drivers safe on the road.
For parents of teens and at-risk drivers, it's also helpful to know that it features speed and boundary alerts, that send notifications to your phone if the vehicle exceeds certain speeds or if it's out on the road beyond boundary limits or curfew.
Verizon's Hum aims to make drivers more connected, less distracted, better informed - and ultimately, much safer.