The new service can turn just about any car into a smarter, safer and more connected vehicle.

Remember the last time your car broke down? Maybe it was a mysterious sputtering noise coming from under the hood, or your brake pedal wasn't feeling quite right under your foot. Whatever it was, your car was trying to tell you something, and you wished you could speak its language.

Now you can with hum by Verizon, which helps you make sense of what those sputters mean and gets you the assistance you need when things go wrong on the road.

How does hum work?

The hum system has three methods of translating what your car is telling you:

The OBD reader

It translates Vehicle-ese into English. In most modern cars, a computer-based, on-board diagnostic (OBD) system monitors the performance of some of your engine's major components, and alerts you when something's up. OBD is the reason your engine light knows to turn on.

The hum OBD Reader gives you more detailed information than a simple engine light can, picking up on deeper nuances (like whether you've got a loose cable or low oil pressure). Hum can send you alerts through the app, by email or text.

The speaker

It's a communications hub right on your visor, acting as a Bluetooth® speaker when paired with your smartphone. But it also has dedicated buttons using the OBD Reader's wireless connection for calling roadside assistance or the hum emergency response center. Hum will even automatically call via the speaker when it detects you've had a collision, and will send emergency services automatically if there's no response.

The app

This puts it all together. With the app, you can monitor your car's health, access diagnostic information and get advice right from your smartphone. You can also set up maintenance reminders and have them texted and emailed or find your parked car at the mall or airport.

Why would I want hum?

Easy. Consider some of these real-life examples:

Without hum… With hum
A mystery noise ignored too long ends up costing you $200 at the shop You receive near-real-time vehicle diagnostics and detect the problem earlier
You’re forever forgetting to change your oil Set easy in-app reminders to jog your memory
You’re on the phone with your insurance provider, trying your darndest to say where exactly your car broke down With hum, GPS pinpoints your location, and with the touch of a button, you can reach roadside assistance to arrange a tow for up to 10 miles for free.

Extra benefits of hum include service discounts, lockout service, locating your parked car, fuel delivery, jump-starts and more. Check the full list of the goods here.

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