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Honk Offers an New Alternative for Roadside Assistance

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Younger Internet users don’t seem to be a group of people contented to wait. Through the use of Uber and other services like it, consumers are now getting the services they want in their desired time frame — and price range. To wit, a new app called Honk hopes to connect consumers with broken-down cars with roadside assistance, without the need for AAA.

The app enables users to summon a tow truck with one tap, or receive help when they have a flat battery, tire or an empty fuel tank for a minimum of $49. The service also provides maximum pricing quotes when users search for an assistance company.

The official webpage for the app notes that there’s a 15 to 30 minute ETA for requests, and since fees are paid in advance with credit and debit cards, there’s no tax, no tip and no haggling. Since the app operates on smartphones, even if the user is lost, their GPS coordinates will help their requested truck find them.

Honk’s creator Corey Brundage notes that younger people are increasingly interested in newer online services over older established companies, like AAA. He says he wanted to create an “Uber for roadside assistance.”

Brundage told Time:

The younger mobile, millennial generation doesn’t have brand affinity with AAA. I kept thinking, I can push a button and get a taxi in just two minutes. But when I really need help, on the side of the road, where is the button?

The company has already received $1.8 million in funding and boasts partnerships with more than 20,000 truck operators.

Honk is just another in a long line of tech startups that have disrupted traditional industries. While the disruption has brought class-action lawsuits, government regulation and ethics questions — it seems the disruption shows no signs of slowing down.

“The use of new technology is just one small aspect of providing roadside service,” Heather Hunter, a AAA spokesperson told Time. She noted that AAA-affiliated tow truck operators undergo background checks and receive training. Jumping ship from AAA to services like Honk may be beneficial to tow truck operators, but only time will tell.

However, right now it’s clear that disruptive services are going to continue bumping up against old business models. They may even overtake these industries, edging out the old until they become the new establishment, and have the market all to themselves.

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