New tech device gives parents of teen drivers peace of mind

| August 26, 2016

By Jay Curry, Solutions Specialist, Verizon Wireless

Back to school can be a scary time for parents of teen drivers. There are more cars on the road, more distractions and more chances for teens to sneak away where you maybe don’t want them to go. But, technology has the answer and it’s as simple as a device that plugs into your car via the on-board diagnostics (OBD) port.

It’s called hum by Verizon and it consists of a small unit that plugs into your vehicle’s OBD port, an accompanying Bluetooth speaker and an app that you load onto your smartphone. The device takes seconds to install and once in place will show you where the vehicle is located in real-time, where it’s parked and also send you alerts if it’s driver travels outside of a pre-determined geographic area or exceeds a speed limit that you set.

And since it uses Verizon’s network, it works anywhere there’s a Verizon signal.

Worried your teen will breakdown on the side of the road and not know what to do? Hum can help here as well. With free pinpoint roadside assistance, just press a button on the Bluetooth speaker and your teen is instantly connected to free roadside assistance for actions such as tire repair, fuel delivery and towing.

If you’ve ever felt like your mechanic isn’t making sense during repair discussions, consider hum your international translator. It can tell you how well your alternator is performing, whether you’re having mechanical or electrical issues and even if you’re at risk of not passing an emissions test. The information appears in an easy to read dashboard in your hum app. If you see green next to the diagnostic, then you’re good to go! And if you have any questions, just press your roadside assistance button and you’ll be connected to the Mechanics Hotline for a free and accurate assessment of your vehicle.

Hum works in most cars made in 1996 or newer. Normally it costs $29.99 for the device, with a $20 activation fee and $10 a month subscription. But if you have a teen driver, you can get the device for free, with no activation fee and your first three months included. For more information, visit

(For more mobile technology assistance, visit your Fort Wayne Verizon Wireless retail stores at 4602 Illinois Road or 4122 Lima Road.)

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Category: Crime & Safety, Technology, Youth

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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