August 26, 2014
When I was in college, my car broke down by the side of the road on our drive back from Beach Week. Thankfully, I had AAA and managed to call them for roadside assistance, but it took them close to two hours to actually get to me; it was a pretty painful experience having to wait for them and not have any idea where they were/when they’d get there, and I don’t think I could’ve stayed sane had I not been with my friends. Well, thanks to Urgent.ly, there’s now an app that will help you locate the nearest available roadside assistance vehicle, coordinate service, and track it.
This morning, the DC startup announced the release of its free roadside assistance app for iOS. After creating a profile with Urgent.ly, users can simply use the app when they are in need of roadside assistance. The app provides users with information on the nearest available roadside assistance provider and can connect with them immediately. The company refers to this as a two-tap solution: in just two taps, Urgent.ly locates a roadside assistance vehicle and a user can track the location of that vehicle right from the app. There’s even a FamilyView feature, which allows users to link their app experience with a driving-age child, spouse, or parent, and get notified when they request help and even assist in the process.
“Uber has proven that the days of calling a dispatch office, and hoping a car – or in this case, tow truck – will actually arrive before a meeting starts or flight takes off, are over,” said Urgent.ly CEO Chris Spanos in a statement. “Like Uber and Lyft, Urgent.ly ensures a safe, transparent, and simple solution to a stressful problem. We get stranded motorists off the side of the road quickly, and get them back up and running.”
While the app is free, users still have to pay for roadside assistance, of course, but Urgent.ly’s app allows for cashless transactions, processing the payments through the app itself. The company utilizes its own network of more than 160 roadside vehicles – all within the Washington, DC, area, but coming soon nationally – which allows it to offer flat-rate pricing for consumers.
Urgent.ly’s new iOS app is an upgrade from their mobile web app. In April of this year, the company received an investment from CIT GAP Funds and closed their seed round.
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