Verizon’s “Hum” Device For Your Car Will Rat Out Speeding Teens, Wandering Spouses

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 11.32.26 AMDo you have a teen driver in your household and want to know every time they get a little overzealous with the accelerator? Or maybe you’re pretty sure your spouse’s frequent trips to “the office” are not so innocent? If so, then an upcoming update for Verizon’s “hum” in-car smart device might be just what you’re looking for.

The $15/month hum service was originally launched to collect vehicle diagnostics, connect users to roadside assistance, provide maintenance reminders. But this morning Verizon announced that it will be adding a slew of new features for the hum, including:

Boundary alerts: Lets you set up a boundary and receive alerts when your vehicle exits and enters the area. So if your kid promised he was just driving a mile away to Josh’s, you’ll know he’s lying when you get a message that your car crossed the boundary five miles away. Or maybe you and the spouse are enjoying some romantic private time because your teen is 20 miles away at some concert. That boundary alert telling you he’s on his way back home will give you time to clean up that mess you made in the kitchen trying to reenact that scene from 9-1/2 Weeks.

Speed alerts: While the hum doesn’t know the speed limit of every road your vehicles on, you will be able to set up maximum speed limits so that you get an alert — through the app, via email or text — whenever a driver crosses that threshold. So if your teen doesn’t need to drive on the interstate to get to school in the morning, there’s no reason for her to be driving 63 mph. This is also helpful in situations where you’ve handed over your vehicle for valet parking, so that things like this don’t happen:

Vehicle location: Even more precise than the geofencing of the boundary alerts, the hum will provide map-based tracking of your vehicle’s location, speed and travel direction.

Driving history: And just in case you missed all the alerts or your kid was savvy enough to change the account so that all the texts went to some other phone, the hum will provide “trip-based driving information to track driving efficiency, including duration, start and end times, idle times and max/avg. speeds.” It might not be enough to convict someone in court, but it could be enough to get them grounded or sleeping on the couch for a month.

“Family members now have the opportunity to remain connected to their teenage drivers, elderly parents and others on the road, putting them in the passenger seat, even if they’re miles away,” reads a statement from a Verizon executive. “Parents can now sleep well at night knowing their precious cargo is safe on the road.”

Or rather, parents can get mad as hell at night when they get a text alert that their 16-year-old just drove 90 mph to visit that college student they’re secretly dating 50 miles away.

[via The Verge]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.