Verizon ‘hum’ will scan for diagnostic trouble codes, call EMS but not insurer / OEM


The ‘buzz’ of Verizon’s OnStar and AAA competitor hits the market, offering drivers a chance of help in a breakdown or crash – but no “steering” – and actively scanning the vehicle for diagnostic trouble codes.

Buzzing technology, formerly called Verizon Vehicle but apparently now it’s too cool for a good cap, is available to all drivers, regardless of their mobile provider. It will cost $ 14.99 per month for a two-year subscription, according to Verizon.

“With the push of a button, drivers receive diagnostic information, localized roadside assistance and live consultation with ASE certified mechanics and emergency personnel on demand,” Verizon wrote in a statement. hurry.

The buzz involves both a reader in the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port and a device attached to a visor; there is also a smartphone app. Verizon says it will operate with 150 million vehicles in the US fleet today.

“Um is an important service, a service that we believe will passionately help save lives and protect drivers and their loved ones, whether they are traveling in town or across the country,” said the CEO of Verizon Telematics, Andrés Irlando, in a press release. “This service offers today’s drivers on the road the same level of information about their vehicles that portable fitness devices provide about our health. Simply put, hum democratizes the safety and convenience of vehicle connectivity.

Connected cars

Connected car technology has the potential to disrupt collision repair if customer service agents contacted through the devices “direct” customers to particular mechanics or repairers.

Mike Anderson of Collision Advice hypothesized ‘OnStar on steroids’ scenario in which an OEM recommends via a connected car that a driver seeking vehicle service uses a certified store, and there is no reason why an insurer could not theoretically do the same for a direct repair network.

However, neither is Verizon’s plan for the Buzz.

Verizon spokeswoman Marie McGehee wrote in an email that the service’s call center would contact emergency services if a driver did not respond. If the driver is available, Hum staff would interact with him and call roadside assistance or emergency services on request, but nothing else.

“The call center would not contact the driver’s insurer or the automaker itself,” she wrote.


Hum also has the ability to scan diagnostic trouble codes, another interesting development depending on the depth of that ability – which appears to be quite far indeed.

“As for DTCs, the hum service OBD reader is capable of scanning most DTCs in hum compatible vehicles that are available to most mechanics,” McGehee wrote.

With Verizon’s technology checking the job, repairers and service technicians could be embarrassed if they haven’t fixed all of the issues reported by DTCs – not just those indicated by dashboard lights or those that don’t. are not disputed by an adjuster.

Diagnostic at Repairer Driven Education

If you’re going to SEMA and want to learn more about the technology discussed here, check out “Tech Crunch – The Role of Programming and Diagnostics in Post-Repair Road Worthiness” at the OEM Summit “Advanced automotive technology” SCRS session Repairer-focused training series. Register here.

(For more information on these topics, see this interesting panel cover from Collision Hub and our coverage of how local adjusters might not be aware that OEM policies – not to mention the best practices of their insurer – require specific analyzes or calibrations.)

“By modernizing traditional roadside assistance, Buzz is designed to provide ultimate peace of mind behind the wheel,” Irlando said in a statement. “Now, in addition to being protected by live help and emergency services, drivers will know what their check engine light means and be provided with information and knowledge on how to fix the problem and what it can cost. “

OnStar and AAA competitor from Verizon

Other buzz offers include:

  • To find out where you parked: The app combined with the GPS technology ahem will tell you that, and it can also tell you how much time is left on the clock.
  • Direct line : You can use the buzz to talk to a ASE certified mechanic.
  • Monitoring the condition of the battery, coolant and alternator: McGehee wrote that it can be done in “near real time” and alert drivers if something goes wrong.
  • Discounts: In another blow to the AAA, Buzz will offer drivers deals on maintenance, hotels and car rentals.
  • Help in the event of vehicle theft: Stolen car? Hum will give information to the authorities on this matter. (Thieves could probably just throw the GPS buzzing out the window, but the police would still benefit from things like VIN numbers, color, year, license, etc.)

It will also be interesting to see how this and other similar services will work when an insurer or other service provider wants to use the OBD port for their own technology as well. Would a Snapshot pilot be excluded from the buzz? Will drivers have to use some sort of third-party developed splitter?

More information:

Featured Images: The “buzz” of competitor OnStar and Verizon’s AAA has hit the market, offering drivers a chance of help with breakdowns or accidents and actively scanning the vehicle for diagnostic codes. (Provided by Verizon; Provided by Verizon via PRNewsFoto)

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