If you are familiar with vehicle assistance services that connect vehicles to a customer service center for the purpose of safety, security, diagnostics, and more, but found these programs expensive and consisting of more features than you need, or simply not available for your vehicle, then you might be excited to learn about Verizon’s new program called Hum.
OnStar, which is available in all GM vehicles, is probably the most notable of these types of programs because it has been around for more than 20 years now. But like most manufacturer programs of this type, OnStar is filled with features that while convenient do come at a cost.
Verizon has now entered the consumer automotive diagnostic and roadside assistance market with their own aftermarket device and service that connects drivers to any help they need. It’s called Hum and it is currently available via the Hum by Verizon website.
Hum works with most automotive diagnostic ports and, according to PC Magazine, is compatible with nearly any car made in the last two decades.
Hum consists of two components: a diagnostic module and a speakerphone device that clips to your sun visor. The diagnostic module plugs directly into your car’s diagnostic port and begins working immediately, connecting with any onboard diagnostic equipment, getting a GPS lock, and connecting to Verizon through its built-in cellular radio. The speakerphone automatically connects to the diagnostic module over Bluetooth, and provides direct interaction for the driver.
The speakerphone is very similar to an OnStar system, with individual buttons for making speakerphone calls with a separately paired smartphone, contacting roadside assistance, and contacting emergency services. Only regular phone calls require a phone; Hum’s services connect directly through the diagnostic module’s cellular connection.
Hum optionally works in conjunction with a free smartphone app to provide more information and options to the driver.
Hum draws some obvious comparisons with OnStar, however, Hum is much more focused on maintenance and roadside assistance, with little emphasis on general information or entertainment arrangements. Hum is also less expensive than OnStar, available for $14.99 per month with equipment included (for the first vehicle; additional vehicles are $12.99) compared with OnStar’s $20 Protection, $25 Security, and $35 Guidance plans.
While not as feature-rich as programs like OnStar, Hum doesn’t try to be, and it is an economical alternative to more prominent services for users who simply want assistance, maintenance, and security without the extra convenience features.
Check it out at www.hum.com.