Author Topic: BMW to start charging subscription fees to use features already in your car  (Read 16236 times)

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Online PlainName

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On my Golf I've enabled the tyre pressure monitoring, which isn't included as standard (or maybe even as an option) and is just software - it checks the relative rotation of each wheel rather than queried any sensor, so it's a hidden software switch to enable it.

The car is 13 years old.

I am also reminded that test equipment has done this for a long time - there are mega-threads on here on enabling paid options in scopes from the turn of the century. So having built-in but disabled options isn't new.

The difference with this BMW stuff is firstly the idea of a subscription (but we're also use to that with, for instance, satnavs), and this thing about the Tesla batteries. I think it is one thing to carry the hardware for, say, heated seats which isn't used (my bike has all the wiring and software and connectors for a radio and even the fake radio receptacles to hold the connectors in place, but no radio), and a huge weight to lug around as a penalty.

Although... if only 66% of the battery capacity is being used, doesn't that mean the battery will last a lot longer, making that actually a useful unused option?
 

Offline BrianHG

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It's not just driving the additional weight of options around you didn't buy or subscribe (there goes the green washing down the drain). Those options can also break and screw up other stuff. For example, a cable from/to the controller unit for the heated seats shorts to ground and the CAN bus is dead. So you have to pay to get something fixed you didn't buy. Remember: What's not there can't break down.
:-+ Good point!
 

Offline BrianHG

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Although... if only 66% of the battery capacity is being used, doesn't that mean the battery will last a lot longer, making that actually a useful unused option?

Based on options, if Tesla can software limit the range of your battery, who is to say they arent software subtracting the range based on age as well?
 

Online PlainName

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They're not Apple, who likely have a patent on that :)
 

Online SiliconWizard

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One point to consider here is that this whole model may not be a good fit (except for maximizing profit for manufacturers) for personal car ownership, but it becomes one if cars are not owned anymore, but shared. This whole car sharing thing is currently being promoted heavily by some in the name of saving the planet.

And precisely, if a given car is not owned, or at least "rented" for an extended period of time by a given person, but constantly shared, then it needs to embed all options, and enabling options depending on the user's profile is the answer. It sure is dead weight and an increased number of points of failure, but if it drastically reduces the number of vehicles in circulation, you get the idea...

However screwed up this subscription model is, we need to consider it in a different context than what we have been used to. Just my 2 cents.
 

Online PlainName

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Yes, that would be a good fit for car share. I can't envision having to cope with car share though - it would drive me nuts!
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Yes, that would be a good fit for car share. I can't envision having to cope with car share though - it would drive me nuts!

I can't either. Makes you way too dependent, which personal vehicles were precisely solving.
But this is the kind of freedom that we are slowly getting deprived of in the name of the greater good.

If for one know of two cases for which this "works": being a child, or being a citizen of a totalitarian regime.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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Offline madires

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GM Makes $1,500 OnStar Subscription Mandatory on GMC, Buick, Cadillac Models: https://www.thedrive.com/news/gm-makes-1500-onstar-subscription-mandatory-on-gmc-buick-cadillac-models
 

Online PlainName

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Doesn't say what happens after 3 years if you don't cough up.
 

Offline themadhippy

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Quote
Doesn't say what happens after 3 years if you don't cough up
The engine management light comes on,limp mode enabled with enough range to get you too the nearest dealer, just, were you'll be informed its an uneconomical repair and buying a new model will be cheaper. Maybe
 

Online PlainName

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Maybe! I think it more likely that you lose the option you didn't want. But, if so, they seem to have need of much better PR. They could've said you get it free for 3 years, then have to cough if you want to continue, which would be quite normal for that type of thing. Same result, different look.
 

Offline mikerj

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Now *that* is nice: https://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/133090/hacking/honda-rolling-pwn-attack.html  ;D

"Successful exploitation of this flaw can allow attackers to permanently open the car door "

That is very odd phrasing, they seem to be implying you'll never be able to close the door again.
 
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Offline AVGresponding

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Now *that* is nice: https://securityaffairs.co/wordpress/133090/hacking/honda-rolling-pwn-attack.html  ;D

"Successful exploitation of this flaw can allow attackers to permanently open the car door "

That is very odd phrasing, they seem to be implying you'll never be able to close the door again.

If the electronically controlled latch is set to fixed open, that would indeed be the case; when you tried to close it, the door would just fall open again, unable to latch.

However, the article is merely sloppily written, and it can be seen that the excerpt they quote is referring to locking and not latching.
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Online tszaboo

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Just wait, until they try to charge you for lane assist and or emergency breaking and other safety ADAS systems. That will be in your car by default, but they will only enable it if you pay subscription. That's when the shit will hit the fan with the lawmakers.

I don't see that happening. Vehicle standards and regulations aside, manufacturers rely heavily on their ANCAP/Euro NCAP safety ratings to sell their vehicles. I can't see those assessment bodies giving points to vehicles which don't, by default, have these safety features available to all who buy them.
So it is already happening:

Quote
High Beam Assist, which brightens or dims the headlights depending on traffic, will cost $8 a month, $84 for a year, $122 for three years, or $183 for unlimited use.

BMW is not alone. Consumer Reports reported last fall that at least five OEMs – Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Porsche, and Tesla – were rolling out a subscription model for certain options in certain markets.

For repairers, the technology raises some interesting questions. If an ADAS feature isn’t working, for example, is it because it’s faulty, or because the owner hasn’t paid the fee to unblock it? Alternatively, could this lead to greater simplification, with every vehicle equipped with every available component at the factory?
High beam into incoming traffic is dangerous, and the car has the ability to dim the lights, maybe even zoned dimming. But it doesn't do it unless you pay.
Here is my issue: Is it really worth paying as much as amazon prime with videos, for heated seats?
So far we have the government, the repair shop, the government, the insurance company, your car maker (with predictably broken parts), parking, and so on, getting payed just because you have a car. I'm not a cash cow, and it does matter if I have to pay 200 EUR for a car a month, or 300 to have the same car with Bling on it. I'm sure that people with leasing won't mind that they have to spend 700 or 800 a month for their cars that they clearly cannot afford otherwise. Cash upfront, because I'm not rich enough to pay alimony to bank or a leasing company.
 

Offline david77

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Just wait, until they try to charge you for lane assist and or emergency breaking and other safety ADAS systems. That will be in your car by default, but they will only enable it if you pay subscription. That's when the shit will hit the fan with the lawmakers.

I don't see that happening. Vehicle standards and regulations aside, manufacturers rely heavily on their ANCAP/Euro NCAP safety ratings to sell their vehicles. I can't see those assessment bodies giving points to vehicles which don't, by default, have these safety features available to all who buy them.
So it is already happening:

Quote
High Beam Assist, which brightens or dims the headlights depending on traffic, will cost $8 a month, $84 for a year, $122 for three years, or $183 for unlimited use.

BMW is not alone. Consumer Reports reported last fall that at least five OEMs – Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Porsche, and Tesla – were rolling out a subscription model for certain options in certain markets.

For repairers, the technology raises some interesting questions. If an ADAS feature isn’t working, for example, is it because it’s faulty, or because the owner hasn’t paid the fee to unblock it? Alternatively, could this lead to greater simplification, with every vehicle equipped with every available component at the factory?
High beam into incoming traffic is dangerous, and the car has the ability to dim the lights, maybe even zoned dimming. But it doesn't do it unless you pay.
Here is my issue: Is it really worth paying as much as amazon prime with videos, for heated seats?
So far we have the government, the repair shop, the government, the insurance company, your car maker (with predictably broken parts), parking, and so on, getting payed just because you have a car. I'm not a cash cow, and it does matter if I have to pay 200 EUR for a car a month, or 300 to have the same car with Bling on it. I'm sure that people with leasing won't mind that they have to spend 700 or 800 a month for their cars that they clearly cannot afford otherwise. Cash upfront, because I'm not rich enough to pay alimony to bank or a leasing company.

All those high beam assist gizmos suck anyway. At least from the perspective of the oncoming blinded traffic. People rely on it completely but the electronic assistant usually takes a moment to recognise oncoming traffic before it switches off the high beams, wich results in blinded drivers. A human can recognise oncoming traffic much earlier and react in time so as not to blind others. Good riddance to all those crappy gizmos I say.
 

Offline coldfiremc

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I think people can sue them for fuel/energy unwanted expense and advertising. All those gizmos have mass, and carry more load is not free. Also in some countries cars are taxed for weight.
 

Online SiliconWizard

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I think people can sue them for fuel/energy unwanted expense and advertising. All those gizmos have mass, and carry more load is not free. Also in some countries cars are taxed for weight.

Funnily enough, while "fuel" consumption has become a major concern, EVs seem to be exempted of such concerns more or less, as if electricity was virtually infinitely available, produced cleanly and as if those vehicles were so efficient anyway that we can pretty much add lots of dead weight and crap gadgets and they will still save us from the total climate/energy/civilization collapse.
 
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Online PlainName

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Quote
I think people can sue them for fuel/energy unwanted expense and advertising

I seriously doubt they could be sure for wasted energy. If that were the case they would have to make holes in lots of stuff to save weight and similar. It's not like they sell you a 4 ton car which they pretend is 2 ton - you know up front how much it weighs.

Advertising... Don't know about manufacturers but I think their logo and name is fine. You know that's part of the car before you buy it. The dealer sticker, though, you can tell them to remove it or pay your fee for advertising.
 


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