Verizon is already in your landlines, cellphones and televisions, but now it wants to be in your cars too. At the North American International Auto Show, the company announced a new subscription service called Verizon Vehicle that lets you add wireless connectivity to existing cars.
Using a combination of your car’s on-board diagnostics port, a Bluetooth speaker and a mobile app, Vehicle provides a host of functionality including roadside assistance with GPS-aided location, one-button SOS and accident detection, and stolen vehicle aids. The gear also allows for both predictive diagnostics and a mechanics hotline should find yourself in a tough spot.
The app connectivity lets you to track when and where you parked, get maintainance alerts, and offer location-based discounts on expenses such as hotels, vehicle rentals, and repair services.
While car manufacturers have independently offered similar connectivity before, Verizon’s take is one of the more thorough implementations of an aftermarket tool we’ve seen. The company says its hardware should be compatible with nearly every vehicle made and sold in the US since 1996.
You don’t have to be a Verizon Wireless subscriber to try out Vehicle, however; the service is offered independent of your cellphone plan.
Verizon intends to launch the new service in the spring at a price of $14.99 of month, with availability through unspecified national retailers coming in late 2015.