Volkswagen announces autopilot-by-subscription
According to Volkswagen AG exec Klaus Zellmer, the company intends to provide self-driving cars to its customers on a subscription basis at €7/hour, with the freedom to activate and deactivate it at any time.
Klaus Zellmer pointed out that purchasing your own set of SAE Level 4 self-driving equipment would set you back more than €10,000, reducing the appeal of the whole idea for most buyers. On the other hand, activating a €7/hour subscription for the duration of the trip and then turning it off is much more productive and financially viable at the same time.
Car companies have been offering various features via subscription for a while now, the Tesla Model 3 Long Range being a good example. For $2,000, its owners can raise the powertrain output to shave 0.5s off the sprint time. BMW unlocks adaptive cruise control, seat heating, dash cam functionality and more in the same manner. The approach requires all the necessary hardware to be preinstalled at the factory to work.
Editor Andrew Raspopov