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Urgent.ly: Roadside Assistance in the Mobile, On-Demand World

Urgent.ly provides on-demand roadside assistance to many thousands of customers. Customers access the Urgent.ly service through a number of avenues: iOS and Android applications, HTML5 Web app, SMS concierge service and through numerous partner products, from MapQuest to ParkWhiz to connected car leader Mojio.

To learn more, we caught up with Rick Robinson, co-founder and SVP of product at Urgent.ly:

What local problem(s) does Urgent.ly solve? How?
We provide on-demand roadside assistance to consumers who are looking for help faster than the traditional ways (AAA, insurance), and with full transparency.

Our technology takes the incoming requests from consumers, locates nearby and available tow trucks, determines which match the needs of the consumer and offers the job to them via the app on the truck drivers’ apps. Whoever accepts first commits to be on the way at that moment; when they do the consumer gets notified on their app and can then track the driver right on the map on their phone.

What makes Urgent.ly innovative?
Urgent.ly is taking an industry accustomed to doing business a certain way for many years and dramatically modernizing it. Gone are the days when a consumer would have no other choice (after a flat tire or dead battery) to call an 800 number, get a broad estimate — up to two hours — and wait…and wait.  Urgent.ly has not only served customers in minutes, we regularly assign and dispatch servicers within seconds of a consumer tapping for help.

Our innovation continues by allowing consumers to watch on their phone (Dick Tracy style) as the driver approaches. Additionally, no longer do consumers have to wonder about payment or even haggle over price. We have embedded payment options right in the app so there’s no need for discussion. Finally, FamilyView allows for parents to be alerted when their kids (or any loved one) requests help through the app, and then watch on their phone’s map as they get help. (Think: Uber.)

How does Urgent.ly make the local space better for consumers?
Finding roadside help locally is a snap with Urgent.ly — it’s faster, less stressful and ultimately reassuring. Consumers searching for help nearby can get it quickly by:

  • Accessing our mobile Web app
  • Searching the app stores and downloading our app
  • Sending an SMS so our TextForTow service.

We are local across the country, with thousands of tow partners standing by, and provide help everywhere from large metros, to busy highways to the smallest towns.

What is next in local?
For Urgent.ly we are working to broaden our services to offer greater peace of mind for consumers from driveway to highway. This means working with partners to embed our services in “connected cars” and improving our free offerings with things like accident detection.

As for local in general: On-demand services will become the norm — the moniker will eventually be dropped because everything we consumers want will be available and deliverable now. Local search will be infused with SMB “presence” and capacity so consumers will always be taps away from what they want.

Further, the dots of ultra-hyper-local (product-specific, in-store beacons) will be connected to a consumer’s location-aware mobile device which will draw in pitches from national retailers, allowing every consumer to be treated uniquely, and be offered a different deal from the person standing next to them.

For more, check out the video below or visit http://urgent.ly/.

Urgent.ly from Urgent.ly on Vimeo.

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