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BMW wants to charge you subscription fees to enable features like cruise control in your car

By Kenny Yeo - on 6 Jul 2020, 10:09am

BMW wants to charge you subscription fees to enable features like cruise control in your car

(Image source: BMW)

According to reports, BMW is said to be exploring the possibility of introducing subscription fees to allow owners to enable additional features in their cars.

Say the weather has turned to winter and you are feeling chilly and you feel like you want heated seats and steering wheels. Good news, now you can pay BMW a fee to have them enabled in your car.

Or maybe you are in Singapore and you want to head up north for a holiday. The long drive means adaptive cruise control will be handy. Again, you would be able to activate the feature by paying BMW a fee.

In other words, the hardware is already present in the car and you'll be paying BMW to activate them. The activation will be done via an over-the-air software update. It's just like downloading a new firmware for the car.

To be fair, BMW hasn't detailed exactly how this service would work and what features would be applicable, but the above scenarios are entirely possible at this point.

Some argue that it benefits customers by giving them the ability to add-on features that they might otherwise have. And that it also benefits second owners of the car by giving them the freedom to spec the car as they might have wished.

But let's not kid ourselves. This is a way for BMW to generate recurring revenue on cars that they already sold. Also, it makes manufacturing easier since they no longer have to deal with varying specs.

Furthermore, this move is not without precedent. Just last year, BMW tried to charge its customers US$80 a year to enable Apple CarPlay in their car. That move was met with universal disdain and BMW was forced to scrap it.

Let's hope the same happens here.

Source: Autoblog