Verizon Revs Up Roadside Assistance
Verizon’s powerful new connected-vehicle service—the next generation of roadside assistance—includes live help at the press of a button and GPS-directed pinpoint assistance.
A few years ago, my car broke down while I was taking my family on vacation to see the mighty Mackinac Bridge, a popular tourist destination in Michigan. The car’s battery died, but I had my Verizon phone handy.
I was able to call an area tow company, but I also had to search for a mechanic, eventually finding one about 50 miles away. Then I had to track down a car rental company. After a few hours, we were back on our way.
Although we didn’t let it dampen our mood, it took a ton of effort to get us back on the road.
More powerful roadside assistance
Now vehicle breakdowns will be much easier to manage, thanks to a new subscription-based Verizon roadside assistance service called Verizon Vehicle. You can subscribe even if Verizon isn’t your wireless provider.
I had a chance to learn about Verizon Vehicle while attending the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. With it, you get a small, connected device that plugs into your on-board diagnostics port, which is typically located under your car’s steering wheel. Through the port, your car sends a ton of information to the device, which has access to Verizon’s network.
When your car has a problem, Verizon Vehicle can automatically locate a nearby A.S.E.-certified mechanic, delivering diagnostic information right to the repair shop.
Help is on the way
With the help of GPS, Verizon Vehicle can provide prompt and accurate roadside assistance, reaching out to more than 24,000 tow trucks. Flat tire? They will replace it. Dead battery? They’ll jump it. Out of gas? They’ll bring some. Locked out of your car? They’ll get you back in.
In case of a suspected incident, you will be connected with an agent to determine if immediate assistance is required. If the driver is nonresponsive, Verizon Vehicle will immediately dispatch emergency personnel to the location of the detected incident.
Verizon Vehicle also communicates with you according to your preferences, including push notification, text, email or live human communication via a Bluetooth® speaker. The monthly service offers ’round-the-clock live help, available at the press of a button.
Know your vehicle’s health
Using the Verizon Vehicle app on your smartphone, you can also get maintenance reminders, updates on your vehicle’s health and notifications of urgent problems. You know that pesky “check engine” light that shows up on your car’s console from time to time? The app can tell you exactly what’s happening via text or email. This lets you take action before small problems turn into big problems.
Or, if there’s a really urgent problem, One-Button SOS Assistance immediately connects you to a live agent for emergency aid.
Other cool features
- View a map of your car’s parking location
- Get stolen vehicle location assistance
- Access travel and repair discounts
Is your car compatible?
Every American car made since 1996 has that little port under the steering column (go check your car, and you’ll see it!). At the auto show, manufacturers were unveiling their 2016 cars, which means every car that’s 20 years old or younger can work with Verizon Vehicle.
Jeff Cogswell is a self-employed software developer and writer.