Verizon is bringing fancy diagnostics and the Internet to almost any car already on the road.
At the North American International Auto Show, Verizon announced Verizon Vehicle, an aftermarket connected car service that works with any car model since 1996.
Through an OBD reader that plugs into the car’s diagnostics port and a two-way Bluetooth speaker, Verizon Vehicle tracks problems with the car (engine, tires, etc.) and alerts the driver through the companion mobile app. It also provides roadside assistance, emergency help, and a mechanic’s hotline with location accuracy by tapping into the smartphone’s GPS.
Drivers can sign up for Verizon Vehicle on a subscription basis, and use it regardless of their smartphone’s mobile carrier.
The company expects to release Verizon Vehicle in the second quarter of 2015.