Verizon Vehicle uses an an OBD II dongle and a head unit with a Bluetooth speaker and call buttons that can be slipped on the visor. It doesn't provide directions, but among its feature set is the ability to report an accident to the Member Care Center or be used to call for live emergency aid; monitor the health of the car and provide advance warning for some fault, or translate a Check Engine light usable information for others; connect the driver to a hotline with ASE Certified mechanics who can help analyze issues; track a stolen vehicle; and, via the app, keep track of where the vehicle is parked and how much time is left on the meter. And when roadside assistance is called for, help is dispatched straight to the driver's GPS coordinates.
It will work on "nearly every vehicle made and sold" here since 1996. Verizon says the subscription service will commence sometime in Q2, but hasn't let us know the price. The press release below has more information.
Enabled by Technology With 2 Billion Miles on the Road and Years of Development, More Than 200 Million Vehicles Are now Eligible for This Powerful New Consumer Service
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. and DETROIT, Jan 13, 2015 - Today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Verizon announced Verizon Vehicle, a powerful new connected-vehicle service available directly to consumers in the U.S., which aims to modernize traditional roadside assistance offerings – while enhancing driver safety, convenience and savings.
Verizon Vehicle, expected to make its commercial debut in the second quarter of 2015, delivers the next generation of vehicle information technology and service. With the introduction of Verizon Vehicle, drivers will have diagnostic technology at the tip of their fingers, live assistance at the press of a button and pinpoint roadside assistance with GPS accuracy in times of need. The service also connects drivers with live A.S.E. Certified Mechanics to diagnose potential problems and offer solutions.
Erik Goldman, president of Verizon Telematics, explains that today there are more than 200 million vehicles without connected capabilities in the U.S. that could benefit from this new service.
"As one of the largest communications companies in the world, we are dedicated to providing consumers with innovative technology solutions that connect people, solve challenges and inspire change. Verizon Vehicle is a unique and truly holistic aftermarket solution available to over 200 million vehicles on the road today. It affords millions of drivers the power of knowing when things aren't working well, potentially before a breakdown occurs - fostering a safer, smarter and more economical way to drive and maintain a vehicle," said Goldman.
"And while even the best technology can't prevent every breakdown, the service modernizes the traditional roadside assistance offerings which, for the most part, haven't been updated in 50 years," Goldman added.
If drivers need assistance, the built-in GPS identifies their exact location, and a tow truck driver or other help can be dispatched as needed, with precision.
Verizon Vehicle is powered by the company's award-winning and reliable Verizon Wireless network, to give drivers peace of mind about the availability of their connected services particularly when and where they need them most across the country.
Compatible with nearly every vehicle made and sold in the U.S. since 1996 - more than 9,000 makes and models - Verizon Vehicle will launch as a subscription-based service available to drivers regardless of the wireless service provider they use for their mobile devices. Members also receive discounts on travel including hotels and auto services.
How Verizon Vehicle Works
The subscription-based service operates through an OBD reader that can easily be self-installed in the under-dash diagnostic port, a Bluetooth-enabled speaker attached to the visor and a complementary smartphone app. Members can choose to use the app or elect to set up the service to contact them - by phone, text, push notification or email - if a potential issue is detected with their vehicle. The speaker offers one-button push connection to the member care group, the mechanics hotline and roadside assistance - as well as a second button for SOS emergency situations.
Summary of Features
The subscription-based service will include:
- GPS-directed pinpoint Roadside Assistance for breakdowns, flat tires, overheating, a dead battery - anything that might require towing or immediate repair. Dispatches are made to the exact location of a disabled vehicle.
- Automatic Urgent Incident Alert System places a call to the Verizon Vehicle Member Care Center in the event of a suspected accident. Help is immediately dispatched to the location if an accident is confirmed or there is no response from the driver. The time saved can potentially save lives by delivering critical emergency assistance when a person may not be able to call for help.
- One-Button SOS Assistance immediately connects the driver to a live agent for emergency aid.
- Auto Health System with Predictive Diagnostics translates most "Check Engine" light occurrences into real terms, including the description and severity of the matter, the probable solutions for the problem - and the appropriate cost for the repairs. The system is also designed to provide early warnings relating to some vehicle functions, even before a warning light comes on, to help keep you off the side of the road.
- Mechanic's Hotline is staffed with A.S.E. Certified Mechanics providing members access to immediate and unbiased information related to their vehicles, and a professional analysis of trouble they may be experiencing.
- Parking & Meter Tools help drivers find where they left their vehicle - using the Verizon Vehicle smartphone app - while also keeping track of how much time is left on the meter.
- Maintenance Alerts inform vehicle owners when scheduled maintenance is required. No more guesswork as to when to rotate those tires or change the oil.
- Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance guides drivers when reporting a theft and helps authorities recover the stolen vehicle.
- Travel & Repair Savings - Verizon Vehicle members will be entitled to substantial discounts on hotels, vehicle rentals, auto maintenance, repairs and related travel expenses.
How to Buy Verizon Vehicle
The service is expected to launch nationally this spring with availability thru nationwide retailers late in 2015. Advance consumer orders for the service are being accepted at VerizonVehicle.com and at 800-711-5800.
Download the Verizon Vehicle Fact Sheet to view more information about the services included with Verizon Vehicle, how it works, target consumers, availability and more.