Gadgets

Transform your car into a super intelligent connect machine

Despite the list of hackable cars growing by the day, tech companies are eager to jump on the literal rolling bandwagon of connected machines: Android has its Auto service, Apple has CarPlay, and now Verizon - the US telecoms group - has Hum.

Yep, we would have called it 'Kitt' as well. 

Unlike Android and Apple's offerings, the Hum can convert any car (well, build from 1996 onwards) into a smart vehicle. 

A small GPS and CDMA radio device plugs into your car's diagnostic port (it's called the OBD, and probably sits under your steering wheel). This communicates with a second dash module, which provides a call button, concierge and help services. 

Things get properly smart when the Hum unit connects to its companion smartphone app. From your phone, you'll be able to read diagnostics data from your car - providing you with data on everything from its oil levels to its battery levels. Should an engine component be in need of fixing, it'll bring up a price list. 

The GPS element also allows you to track your car - useful, should you forget where you've parked it (though if that's the case, there's a high chance you've probably lost your phone and keys as well) or someone drive off with your reliable old 2003 Vauxhall Corsa. Given that it's not controlling any of your car's actual driving functions, the Hum is actually safer than many hackable cars that have been grabbing the headlines.

There's no word on an international release date for Hum, but US prices put the hardware at $150 (£95), with a monthly charge of $14.99 (£9.50). 

We give it a few months before someone works out how to hack it and track you on your drive to the shops.