CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (June 8, 2016) — Auto-repair marketplace Openbay Corp. has launched on-demand roadside assistance on its mobile platform.
The company described the new service as a “robust nationwide network of roadside service operators (that) can now be dispatched at the touch of a button for common breakdowns due to a dead battery, flat tire, lockout, need for fuel delivery, or for vehicles that need a tow due to inoperability or that were involved in a collision.”
Openbay Roadside Assistance operates on a pay-per-use basis to deliver “the nearest, best-equipped service vehicle” dispatched to a consumer's location. Consumers pay for the actual service delivered at the time of need, according to the company, adding that there is no annual membership subscription or fee to add family members.
“Consumers are holding onto their vehicles a lot longer, thanks to higher quality parts and service,” said Rob Infantino, founder and CEO of Cambridge-based Openbay. “Nearly 60 percent of the vehicles on the road are more than nine-years old, and more likely to require roadside service than newer vehicles.
“Now, Openbay combines the convenience of on-demand roadside with our auto-repair marketplace, delivering speed and removing hassle from car care, and meeting the expectations consumers have with today's online and on-demand services.”
Here's how Openbay's roadside program works:
- An Openbay user submits a request for service via the Openbay mobile app.
- Using GPS, the user's exact location is determined and validated by the user. For tow requests, the user enters the final destination of the vehicle, which generates a fixed price based on mileage.
- Users are required to select and then enter their preferred payment method — credit card, debit card or Apple Pay.
- Openbay provides a summary of the services requested prior to booking.
- Using a proximity-based dispatch system, the nearest and best-equipped service vehicle is notified with all the detail on the service.
- Once the service vehicle is dispatched, the user will receive a confirmation text message with the estimated time of arrival and information on the provider.
- Upon completion of the service, Openbay processes payment.
According to Openbay, flat-rate pricing for roadside assistance starts at $64.95 and towing services start at $79.95 for up to five miles, with tiered pricing for additional miles.
The service is available within Openbay's iOS mobile app.
Openbay calls itself an “online marketplace transforming the auto-repair experience for consumers, and the way that service providers acquire and service customers.” In 2015, the company launched OpenbayConnect, which allows connected cars to communicate with Openbay for repair and maintenance service.
The privately held company's investors include GV (formerly Google Ventures), a16z seed, Boston Seed Capital, Stage 1 Ventures and several individual investors.