Although connected-car technology has been in place for several years through basic services like OnStar, the advancements of today are lost on millions of people. That's because older cars simply don't have the hardware to support such technologies, which means drivers aren't able to reap the rewards of having their vehicles integrated into a larger Internet system.
To remedy this situation, Verizon announced Jan. 14 that it will expand its on-board diagnostics services to more than 200 million older cars that are already on the road. Connecting to the Internet through an OBD reader that plugs right into the car, the service will offer maintenance, emergency, parking, theft prevention and roadside assistance software to customers previously left out of the market.
"As one of the largest communication companies in the world, we are dedicated to providing consumers with innovative technology solutions that connect people, solve challenges and inspire change," said Verizon Telematics President Erik Goldman. "Verizon Vehicle is a unique and truly holistic aftermarket solution available to over 200 million vehicles on the road today. It affords millions of drivers the power of knowing when things aren't working well, potentially before a breakdown occurs - fostering a safer, smarter and more economical way to drive and maintain a vehicle."
With the new service, Bloomberg noted even cars that are nearly 20 years old can now be fitted with real-time diagnostics technology. As a result, vehicles will collectively be safer and more efficient, saving drivers money.
Serving new markets
Because many drivers cannot afford to purchase the newest and most advanced car upon its release, people tend to stick with the same car for years or even decades. However, during this time, technology as a whole pushed car capabilities into an entirely new age, changing the way drivers interact with their vehicles.
These products are typically available to only brand-new cars, which means the only people who benefit are those who update their vehicles frequently. But with so many people relying on older models, Verizon has tapped into a new market that other communication companies have ignored, according to Bloomberg.
Engadget indicated the new Verizon technology will be available by the second quarter of 2015 for as little as $15 a month. Further, drivers don't have to be subscribers of Verizon to take part.
With technology adjusting the way vehicles operate, it's necessary to update car insurance policies accordingly. Insurance providers may offer safety or security discounts for drivers of cars with these features.
CoverHound can help drivers find affordable quotes online.