The advancement and democratization of technology has led to a connection of the world in ways once unimaginable. Over half of the world’s population has access to the internet, exponentially bridging cultures and people all over the world. However, we can do more with technology and internet access than share cat memes and funny gifs. Robust internet infrastructure is necessary to advance car connectivity, and Sprint, the telecommunications company, is pushing its way into the segment with something new called Sprint Drive. The service is shot at many of the features offered by OnStar.
Sprint Drive connects through the car’s OBD-II port—often located under the steering column—which gives Sprint access to the car’s onboard diagnostics data. Sprint says the service offers real-time vehicle location and monitoring, 24/7 roadside assistance, vehicle health notification alerts, trip history, and aggressive driver alerts that monitor things such as hard acceleration or braking. In addition to that, the service offers Sprint Driver customers access to a mechanic hotline where they can receive advice from ASE certified mechanics. Sound familiar?
Sprint Drive also lets parents track their teens in real-time. If the teen driver leaves established boundaries, parents are alerted. The service also allows parents to review their teen’s driving skills. In today’s hyperconnected world, teens can no longer be teens.
However, for as many features as Sprint Drive offers, it doesn’t directly compete with OnStar—at least not yet. OnStar’s integration into GM vehicles gives it a clear advantage, such as remotely locking and unlocking vehicle doors, on-demand diagnostics that allow OnStar advisors to run a report to pinpoint the warning light issue, Crisis Assist, Automatic Crash Response, and more.
The difference in features translates into cost savings, too. Sprint Driver starts at $10 a month with 2GB of mobile hotspot. For $25 a month, Sprint Drive customers get unlimited mobile hotspots access. OnStar plans start at $24.99 a month. Sprint Drive is perfect for someone who owns a car that lacks OnStar built-in integration. Yes, you’re handing over a treasure trove of data that Sprint can monetize, but people want these features and people are willing to pay for them, too.