BMW has announced that it intends to seriously improve the digital systems of its luxury cars by reworking, for example, navigation and maps, a digital assistant, the “digital key” technology (the same one that Apple talked about last week), as well as Android Auto. But the most interesting thing is that BMW wants to introduce a microtransaction system for the functions used in its cars.
Modern cars to the eyeballs are equipped with various electronics and software, becoming more like real computers on wheels. This opened up the possibility for automakers to literally add new features through the air for their cars, as well as correct various software errors. This approach, for example, is taken by Tesla. For example, it supplies cars with batteries in which the power reserve is artificially limited through software firmware. For an additional fee, the car owner can unlock the full potential of the battery.
The German manufacturer BMW decided to go further. Last Wednesday, he said that all of his cars equipped with the latest operating system of the 7th version will soon receive a software update that will allow the company to monetize almost every function of the machine. For example, owners may be charged a “monthly fee” for using seat heating or features such as automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control.
According to BMW, the company is considering various options for providing such a service. The simplest and most obvious is that, after making a certain amount, the car owner will be able to access the functions that interest him, without which the car was bought from the beginning. But there is another option. If the owner does not need, for example, the presence of a seat heating function, he will be able to disable it. The company, unfortunately, did not provide more detailed information on the prices of such services, but the resource Roadshow indicates that the automaker plans to implement a three-month “subscription” system for certain functions.
In production, new BMW cars are likely to become more expensive because of this, but in this way the German automaker can make the service more universal. In addition, this will allow BMW to make money even in the secondary car market after they are sold to other people, for example, through the same leasing system. The new owner, if desired, will be able to activate those functions that interest him and disable those that he does not need.
Whether BMW will succeed in implementing its plans depends on how much it will evaluate the “subscription” or the separate inclusion of a particular function in the car. True, hoping for the best in the case of BMW would be premature, especially if you recall the story with CarPlay. Previously, it was offered as an option worth $ 300, and then the company began to charge $ 80 for it as an annual subscription.
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