Slowly but surely, our friends at the automakers are starting to lock features behind a paywall. If there’s one thing that people love, it’s paying a monthly fee to use something they already paid for. But, as Auto Motor und Sport reports, the German-market Mercedes-Benz EQS flagship EV will have its full rear-wheel steering capability locked behind a subscription.
Here’s how it will work. The EQS comes standard with rear-wheel steering, but in Germany, it will only turn the wheels to 4.5 degrees, even though the system is designed to go up to 10 degrees. If you want that extra 5.5 degrees, it’ll require more money and an OTA (over the air) update or you can pay for it in advance for up to three years:
Mercedes now offers EQS customers the option of activating rear-axle steering with the largest possible steering angle of 10 degrees for an annual fee of 489 euros. Alternatively, the upgrade is available for € 1,169 for three years.
The cost breakdown looks uglier when you get into it because, let’s face it, it is ugly. It gets worse though as all of this requires a 360-degree camera to work. That camera is part of a parking package that costs $1,331.
Only German customers will have to go through this hassle for now. U.S. customers can take comfort in knowing that EQS models sold here will have the full rear steering system as standard. With more automakers flirting with subscription-based features, the future may be full of cars dragging around hardware that you can’t use unless you want to add an additional fee to your payment. Will the payment system be supported in a decade? Will over the air updates be a thing? Who knows?