Verizon Communications turning connected car services popular

How interesting and appealing technology can be. Just think of how great it will be to get the information that connected car services offer, right away on your phone. Know whether your car is moving when you are not driving it, or if it contacted the police when you had an accident.

As great as automobile diagnostic and all the other features sound, the price of a new connected car will mean you have to wait another couple of years. The real great part is that you don’t have to. Thanks to Verizon Communication, connected car services are not just possible, but also affordable.

What Verizon Communications has to offer

They offer you the solution to update the car you already own to M2M (Machine to Machine). The subscription-based service is addressed to vehicles manufactured in or after 1996, which covers more than 9,000 models. The technology is quite simple.

In terms of hardware, you have a  OBD II (on-board diagnostics) dongle that will be integrated to your car and a Bluetooth-enabled speaker attached to the visor. In order to control them, you also have a corresponding smartphone app.

Back to basics

Even if they consider that in the future the Connected car services they offer will include infotainment, right now their package refers to safety and diagnostics. With the simple press of a button on the visor speakerphone, the driver will be connected to a live certified mechanic or call emergency aid.

The connected car services can also offer the driver information that explains why the check-engine light is on in the dashboard, as well as GPS-directed roadside assistance. The mobile application can also help them find the car in a parking lot or track it if it gets stolen.

“It may not have some of the high-tech sex appeal that you might hear in other stories, but this is what the consumer is looking for,” Jeff Leddy, chief executive officer of Verizon Telematics, as quoted in an interview for Bloomberg.

What the interest in connected car services will bring

If the strategy goes according to plan, Verizon expects to acquire about 200 million in-service vehicles that cannot connect to the internet right now, which is a lot of money considering that connected car services are priced at $14.99/month.

Even if the launch was on January 13, Verizon Vehicle would not be available at a commercial level until the second quarter of this year. And their services will grow as the needs of drivers do as well.

But even until they make their services more appealing, they have a lot to win, as we very well know that drivers are mainly concerned with safety and security when it comes to connected car services.

They might not be the only ones on the market to distribute services to and through connected cars. General Motors Company launched the OnStar service to distribute promotions to connected cars.

But the profile of the end buyer is very different. Offering a part of the technology to someone that can’t or won’t buy a connected car at this moment is marketing at its best.

The ups and downs of the industry

Enabling simple adjustments to the technology in order to make it accessible to more drivers is what Verizon Vehicle is targeting in 2015. Bringing connected car services to more drivers is what will give them the upper edge. The question is if they can keep it.

They might be the only ones targeting this section of the market, but they are not the only ones that can. To find out how you can stay on top of this field, follow me on my social media profiles.

Philipp Kandal