If you’ve wished you could add an OnStar like service to your car, Verizon has granted your wish. Verizon Vehicle. The announcement coincided with the 2015 North American Auto Show. The service and device offer the connected vehicle services almost exclusively reserved for OEM installed systems to the general public. The system uses Verizon’s extensive LTE network and will work in a good chunk of the U.S. Let’s talk about how it works and its capabilities.
Verizon Vehicle is a two-component system. It has a OBDII reader and a clip-on speaker. It also works with a Verizon Vehicle connected app. In general, this means that all vehicles designed for the U.S. market, MY1996 and newer, can use Verizon Vehicle regardless of make. Verizon Voice comes with a number of services you’d expect from its OEM competitors. Included are roadside assistance with GPS tracking, Automatic Urgent Incident Alert System which automatically calls for help if the driver doesn’t respond, and single button emergency aid. If your car is stolen, Verizon Voice will find it. The app also has a parking assistance function where it’ll remember where you parked, like I never do, and it’ll even track how much time you have left on your parking meter. Verizon Vehicle also has preventative services like an A.C.E. certified mechanic hotline, diagnostics using the OBDII sensor, scheduled maintenance alerts, and discounts from mechanics, rental cars, and more. You won’t have some features of OEM systems, like remote unlock, but that would require additional hardware and access a clip-on solution just doesn’t have.
Verizon Vehicle seriously undercuts OnStar on price. Pricing is $14.99 per month with the first month free. Additional vehicles on Verizon Vehicle are $12.99. Hardware is included, but requires a two-year contract. For those wondering, OnStar starts at $19.99. The service will begin in April, but interested parties can pre-order now.
Verizon Vehicle seems like a very credible way to bring some of the capabilities of connected OEM car systems to the third party market. It doesn’t do everything, and some things are a little impractical (it’s pretty easy for a car thief to throw the speaker and OBD sensor out the window), but that’s also reflected in the price. What do you guys think about Verizon Vehicle? Tell us below or on social media.