If you want in on the connected car action but your vehicle is nearly as old as the internet, Verizon's new Hum service may help. It's a $15 per month plan that includes an iOS or Android smartphone app and CDMA-enabled hardware that plugs into an OBD-II port, something all 1996 and newer vehicles have. (The port is also used by Automatic Link and other apps.) The device gathers engine diagnostic data and relays warnings to a visor-mounted speaker device and the smartphone app. If something's wrong, the app can provide more info and even an estimated cost for any repairs.
It has a built-in GPS to track your vehicle, giving you a one-touch link to roadside and emergency assistance. The same tech can help police find a stolen vehicle or guide you to your car if you forgot where you left it. The visor-mounted module also functions as a Bluetooth speaker for your smartphone. If all of this is giving you deja vu, the operator first revealed the service at the Detroit Auto Show in January as Verizon Vehicle. However, Big Red changed the name to just "Hum," since you can sign up even if you're not a Verizon mobile client. A two-year plan costs $15 per month, including hardware, but is only available at the Hum site -- you can't get it at Verizon stores.