Do you ever wish there was an easy way to upgrade your vehicle? That there was some way to plug something in and *poof* you have a connected car? hum is a new system powered by Verizon that does just that and more.
hum by Verizon Review — Installation & Features
The hum by Verizon system is easy-to-install system comes with an OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) reader to monitor your car’s health as well as a speaker that includes one button for roadside assistance and one for emergency help. The same speaker can also be connected to your phone by Bluetooth, so you can make handsfree calls and improve safe driving.
All you have to do is plug the OBD reader into the port in your car. The port is usually under the steering area on the driver’s side. Our car actually has it clearly labeled. Then, just fire up the free iOS or Android app on your phone and you’re good to go.
Hum offers a wide range of features. Here is a summary of the main ones plus our thoughts on them.
- Vehicle Health:
Your car already keeps a record of its health and you just need a way to read that data, like the mechanic does when the check engine light goes on and needs to identify the error code. That’s what the OBD reader does for you. It can let you know if there’s a problem that needs attention before it turns into something major. If the issue turns out to not be a big deal, your electronics might simply need to be reset.
- Maintenance Reminders:
Set reminders up in the app so hum can text or email you when it is time to head in for a tune-up. Sadly, you have to put in the mileage and desired date of your next service. You would think this information could be taken from the device to automatically detect when a specific mileage has been reached.
- Mechanics Hotline:
Especially if you are a woman or you are not too fluent in automotive lingo, heading to an unknown mechanic can be quite unnerving. Ask the experts for advice and get estimates from certified, independent mechanics.
- Pinpoint Roadside Assistance:
Many car companies make use of GPS to find your exact location when sending assistance in case of emergency. hum does this too so you can get help when and where you need it.
- Emergency Assistance:
In the unfortunate event that you might be in an accident, hum will call for help on your behalf. Or, you can press the “help” button on the speaker when needed. In such circumstances, knowing you have a direct line to responders is a great relief.
- Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance:
Since your car now has it’s own tracking device installed, you have some leverage in case your car gets stolen. You can have hum send the location of your car to local law enforcement so they can assist you in retrieving it. I’m happy to say that I have not yet tested this since our car has not yet been stolen (and I’m hoping it never will be).
- Parking Assistance:
If you’re like me, you can NEVER remember where your car is parked. Now you can mark your location in the app so you can find it again with ease. Too bad this is not too accurate. In a crowded parking lot, a vague idea of where your car should be doesn’t help. There’s also a timer in the app so you know when you put money in the meter. However, most smartphones have a built-in timer that we are likely already using. I hope Verizon improves the parking locator and replaces the timer with a more useful feature.
- Service & Travel Discounts:
Using hum makes you eligible for discounts at such places as service centers, car rentals, hotels, etc. We still need to plan a good, long road trip to take advantage of this!
All of the above features are included with hum. hum by Verizon is a subscription service that costs $14.99 per month for the first car and $12.99 for each additional car. The ODB reader and speaker are no extra cost. If you sign up for a 2-year subscription, the first month is free thanks to a current promotion. The service is still new and there are some bugs to be worked out. However, there’s some great potential here for consumers.
Instant Smart Connected Car
For those that have a similar system built into their cars (OnStar, BlueLink, Ford Sync, etc.) you might want to compare the prices and features. You may be doubling up on costs if you also use hum. But, if your car is not already “connected” then hum by Verizon is a great choice to remedy that. The fact that the system is from Verizon means the signal will be reliable and the features can be trusted. For less than $15 a month, there’s quite a bit of functionality that can keep you safe while you’re on the road.
I received the hum system and three months of service for review purposes. All opinions are my own.