We live in a connected world. Our smartphones are connected. Our homes are connected. Even our car, the hunks of metal on wheels that ferry us around, are connected. That’s generally a good thing, but in that last case — connected cars — the techdoesn’t do much good if you suffer a breakdown. If your car happens to be connected via T-Mobile’s SyncUp Drive service when that happens, though, you might be in luck.
SyncUp Drive, for the uninitiated, is an aftermarket plugin that transforms any car with an OBD-II (on-board diagnostics) port into a 4G LTE hot spot. For $150 a year, subscribers get access to vehicle diagnostics, driving behavior analysis, vehicle and location monitoring, speed alerts, vehicle diagnostics, and more.
On Tuesday, T-Mobile announced a major SyncUp upgrade: Free roadside assistance. Starting April 4, the self-coined “Un-carrier” will add Allstate’s Motor Club program for all SyncUP Drive customers on qualifying plans at no extra cost.
Here’s how it will work: If you spring a flat tire or need a tow, you’ll be able to connect to a dedicated Allstate Motor Club customer service team via the T-Mobile SyncUp Drive app. It’s available for iOS on the Apple App Store and for Android devices on Google Play — if you’ve already installed it, accepting the latest update will add the Allstate Motor Club feature to the dashboard.
T-Mobile said the demand for SyncUp Drive has “exceeded expectations,” nearly doubling early forecasts.
“The response to T-Mobile SyncUp Drive has been phenomenal! Customers are telling us what they love — and what they want to see next. And, as always, the Un-carrier’s listening,” John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. “Customers’ No.1 ask has been for roadside help. So we’ve partnered with Allstate Motor Club to roll out dedicated roadside assistance for SyncUp Drive customers at no extra charge!”
To celebrate the launch of roadside assistance, T-Mobile is offering SyncUp Drive at a discounted rate. For a limited time, you get 2GB of data (or higher) for $48 with a 24-month no-cost finance agreement.
T-Mobile is not the only carrier company targeting the connected car market. In January 2015, Verizon launched Verizon Vehicle, a connected-car subscription service designed to provide roadside assistance, vehicle monitoring, and other services. Shortly after, AT&T inked a deal with Subaru to provide connectivity in the manufacturer’s connected cars. And automaker General Motors recently unveiled AtYourService, a new component of its OnStar subscription service that will let retailers advertise and send deals directly to drivers.