In order to increase profits, Some automakers are starting to offer features through subscriptions. Once the subscription is created, the owner can usually use the app to unlock features through the software.
Recently, Mercedes-Benz began offering a $1,200 annual subscription to U.S. owners of certain EQ-badged electric vehicles for maximum performance. In some markets, BMW makes features such as heated seats available on subscription.
Volvo, which pioneered the subscription model as an alternative to buying or leasing a car, is also considering subscriptions for features, but only for substantive items.
The information was confirmed by Volvo COO Bjorn Anwall in an interview with Bloomberg published last week.
“If you charge for software updates, that must make a big difference to consumer interests,” he said.
Anwall cites the example of self-driving mode as the type of feature Volvo bills for subscriptions. Volvo has already announced an autonomous driving feature called Ride He Pilot. This allows for truly hands-off, eyes-off travel on certain highways. The timing of the Ride Pilot is not clear, but the first market is confirmed to be California.
Not everyone is keen on the idea that a feature requires a subscription, especially if the feature is already built into the vehicle and only requires software to unlock it. Two members of the state legislature, Paul Moriarty and Joe Danielsen, announced in September that automakers and dealers would sell subscriptions for the ability to use hardware already installed in vehicles at the time of purchase. introduced Bill 4519, aimed at making it illegal to .
However, the bill does not allow automakers, dealers, or third-party service providers to provide ongoing costly features such as content streaming services or new self-driving technology that is upgraded over time, such as new features and broader coverage. map range.
This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.