2 Ways to Make your Car Smart

Source: Automatic Labs

You can make almost any TV smart. Just plug in a Roku or Apple TV. Now several companies are promising you can do the same to your car. Just add an on-board diagnostics (OBD) dongle and your smart phone. This can save you tons of money on vehicle repairs and maintenance. Here are a couple of options...

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Verizon Hum

Verizon has jumped on this new technology with "Hum." Installing Hum is simple: you plug the diagnostics reader into your car's OBD-II port, hang the included speaker on your visor and install the app on your Android or iOS phone. Most cars made after 1996 have an OBD port that works with Hum. It will then keep you up to date with diagnostics and app alerts when your car needs maintenance so you can avoid breakdowns. Hum also includes emergency and roadside assistance (for up to 4 incidents a year).

If your car is stolen, Hum can send your car's location to the police. This also lets you find your car if you forgot where you parked it. Most people will qualify to get the Hum system for free but you will be on the hook for $14.99 per month for 1 car and $12.99 for each additional car.

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Automatic App & Adapter

An interesting alternative to Hum is the "Automatic Pro". It's $129.95 for the kit and it includes a 5-year subscription. That's it. No monthly fees. Just like Hum, it comes with an diagnostics reader that uses Bluetooth to send data to your smart phone.

Automatic Pro spots minor issues, like a check engine light. It includes emergency assistance if you get into an accident, but it does not include roadside assistance if your car breaks down. It will also find your car in the parking lot when you forget where you parked.

Automatic Pro gives you a ton of metrics through its app and website, which are included in the price. The makers of Automatic Pro have also opened up the platform to third party developers so new apps are being added by other companies that bring even more features.

There are several other OBD apps and products from smaller companies that you can find online. We'll be brining you additional info as other players come on the scene ∎

For further reading check out: Automatic Labs and Hum by Verizon