The Washington, D.C.-based roadside assistance service startup, Urgent.ly, got a major boost yesterday when it was announced at the Mobile World Congress that AT&T would be implementing the company's app into the AT&T Drive connected car services platform. As automakers, tech companies, and consumers move towards a “connected car” market, the announcement not only marks a huge accomplishment for the company, but a huge boost to the validation of its innovative product, as well as to the overall reputation of the DC tech ecosystem.
Urgent.ly offers consumers with a way to instantly connect with nearby roadside assistance vehicles in real-time. Through its mobile app, users are provided information on the nearest available assistance services, track the location of the roadside assistance vehicle, and even pay for the flat-rate service directly through their phone. These same functions will be integrated into AT&T's Drive platform, allowing drivers to request quick and immediate roadside assistance whenever and wherever they need it.
AT&T Drive platform is AT&T’s connected car platform, which aims to bring the modern car into this realm of electronic interconnectivity and data. From connectivity and billing solutions to data analytics, “infotainment”, and firmware over-the-air updates, AT&T Drive gives automakers and developers a medium through which they can provide innovative solutions to the connected car market. Whether it's the ability to demand immediate roadside assistance to being able to remotel monitor your home security from your car, AT&T Drive is a way through which consumers can stay connected to other aspects of their lives – all while being inside their car.
AT&T also announced yesterday that apps from NPR as well as car scheduling services provider Xtime will also be implemented into its Drive platform. But regardless of these other offerings, Urgent.ly's inclusion into the mix gives some rightly warranted endorsement of its product. Just last fall, the company raised a pre-Series A round worth $1.2 million – which brought their overall funding to $1.7 million. With current main operations in the D.C. metro area (having created a network of more than 160 roadside assistance vehicles across the region), the implementation of its platform into AT&T Drive is a major boost to its validation and a great leveraging tool for attaining future expansion. What's more, though, is that this accomplishment has managed to bring D.C.'s tech scene into the spotlight, further highlighting the great work in technology that is going on in the nation's capital. Arguably, the region's tech ecosystem hasn't seen any major national accomplishments since the acquisition of smart home startup SmartThings – could Urgent.ly be a next major D.C. tech darling?