The North American International Auto Show has been full of surprises, one of which was by Verizon.
Verizon announced the Verizon Vehicle. It is a subscription service that will bring a variety of services directly to your car. The service comes with a device that is plugged directly into your car’s OBD-II (On Board Diagnostic) port and it will run a continual analysis of your vehicle’s systems to ensure everything is running in tip-top shape. It will tell you about potential problems, before they occur, and alert you via an app or a small Bluetooth speaker you can attach to your visor.
A few features that this new system has include
GPS tracking ability so you always know where your car is, this helps if your car is stolen, but it also when you breakdown and need roadside assistance.
- Automatic Urgent Incident Alert System which automatically places a call to the Verizon Vehicle Member Care Center when the computer suspects an accident, which is usually indicated to the computer by the deployment of an airbag.
- One Touch SOS Assistance which will connect the driver with a live agent
- Predictive Diagnostics which means that it finds the problems before they occur and saves money on emergency repairs.
- Mechanic Hotline which is staffed by A.S.E. Certified mechanics that will provide the driver with professional troubleshooting services
- Smart phone app that will help you keep track on time on your meter and to find where you left your vehicle when you parked it downtown
- Scheduled maintenance alerts
In many ways it is similar to On-Star, except you don’t get the hotspot or any other phone features. The big difference is that you don’t need to drive a newer GM vehicle to have the service, it can be installed on any car that has an OBD-II port. So whether you drive a Honda or a Mercedes you’ve got the coverage.
The hardware for the system is absolutely free and it only costs $15 a month to subscribe to it, which is less than the $19.99 monthly price tag that comes with OnStar.
And this is only the beginning stages of this unit as it’s new on the market. As it is powered by Verizon, I don’t think it will be too long before we get the phone system and hotspots too.