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A Brief Look at hum by Verizon

The month of May always brings a wild assortment of additional teams, drivers, and race car liveries to the Verizon IndyCar Series. This past weekend at the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis, IndyCar fans may have noticed a new paint scheme on Tony Kanaan’s No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Adorn in hum by Verizon branding, the livery is another piece of evidence showing how involved Verizon Wireless has been with North America’s premier open wheel series.

Screenshot_20160517-145658Earlier this month, the Slipstream Network was invited to take a closer look at the hum, a device that transforms your dumb car into a smart one. The main gist of the product is to help people drive smarter by supplying users with more information about their driving habits and information from under the hood, not unlike the race cars we see out on track with the IndyCar series.  We’ve seen a number of bluetooth-connected OBDII readers come to market the last few years, so Verizon’s hum has to bring something different to differentiate itself from the competition, which they most certainly do.

The hum ships with two devices (a clip-on bluetooth speaker and an OBDII receiver) plus an app, all three make up the valuable difference for the carrier’s smart car plans. The wireless device is capable of GPS tracking as well as calling assistance for maintenance or emergency help, through Verizon’s cellular technology. All of the data collected through the OBDII reader is sent to the app on your phone and displayed in an organized and easy to follow manner.

As with other OBDII reader options, the receiver collects data through a vehicle’s OBDII port. Valuable information such as engine lights, regular maintenance, and fuel consumption are all sent to the app through the receiver. A Verizon representative mentioned how surprised he was at the data he was getting about his trips to and from work. The hum takes the concept of tracking your trip and supercharges it with more useful data. The representative was able to take the data he collected about his driving habits and improve his overall gas mileage by changing his routine.

The hum can also brings savings to car insurance. How is that possibly? The cellular connection with GPS data allows for the vehicle to be tracked too, meaning it’s much harder for a hum-equipped vehicle to be stolen. The GPS data also comes in handy as it can tell you if your vehicle was speeding or where it has been, an important feature to many parents with teenagers.

Verizon-HumAside from the connected features of the hum, another unique feature is the clip-on bluetooth speaker. This speaker clips on to the sun visor and wirelessly connects to both the app and the OBDII reader. Hands-free calls can be made with the speaker, but that’s not it’s most important function. Many drivers think that On Star is the only technology for emergency-calling and quick response on the limited list of On Star-equipped vehicles. hum by Verizon goes even further by not only featuring emergency roadside assistance, with automatic crash response, but also a network of mechanics that can help repair a vehicle.

What are most important features to Slipstream Network? We like the diagnostics and vehicle data that are sent to the app. Nothing can make a smarter driver than more knowledge about the vehicle. With all the extra information drivers can receive about their trips, the hum is something that can definitely equip the right tools for better driving.

The package will run $70.00, $50.00 for the hardware, and $20 for the activation fee. Couple with a 2-year contract for the cellular data at $10 per month, the hum is an affordable way to update your car’s connectivity features. Since the hum features the standard OBDII reader, over 1 Million cars built since 1996 are compatible with the device. Find out more at hum.com

Photos: Verizon, IndyCar, Mike Young

As a mechanical engineer, Dusty’s passion is for sports cars and endurance racing. In his opinion, there’s nothing better than a race car closely based on a model that you can go out and buy from the manufacturer showroom. He’s very particular about his writing utensils and appreciates a great, cruelty free pomade.

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