With Rivian’s billion-dollar loss and preorder numbers catching most people’s attention in its recent IPO filing, other important details may have been missed by some. Motor Trend detailed how both pricing for the company’s Level 3 driving assist as well as how the company plans to make money on subscription-based features slipped through the cracks.
First up, subscription-based features. With more automakers either going in on or hinting at having car buyers subscribe to features in the future, it looks like you can count Rivian in for having similar plans. A discussion on the Rivian Owner forums details how in the filing Rivian outlines its expected lifetime revenue for its vehicles. The company defines 10 years as the lifetime of a vehicle and expects $15,500 per vehicle in lifetime revenue for subscriber-based features:
Rivian defines LTR potential as the revenue it can generate from its Rivian vehicles throughout its lifetime (considered to be 10 years), if the owner, in this case, subscribes to everything possible. Level 3 driving capabilities account for $10,000, and a monthly subscription plan for infotainment, connectivity, diagnostics, and other services accounts for the other $5,500.
That brings us to the driving assist pricing. Essentially, Rivian vehicles will be equipped with Level 3 capabilities, but they’ll annoyingly be locked behind a subscription. And if Rivian follows Tesla’s playbook, that means either paying $10,000 in full or a monthly subscription for the feature. This Level 3 system is also different from the driver-assist system that Rivians come standard with.
When we’re talking about Rivian’s Level 3 driver assist setup, we’re not talking Rivian’s Driver +, the “free” version, which is standard on every Rivian vehicle. Driver+ is hands-free, but it still requires the driver to be prepared to take over control of the wheel at a moment’s notice. It supports but does not replace attention, judgment, and driver control. It’s a collection of Level 2 active safety features that control motor, braking, and steering systems, assisting drivers when certain criteria are met.
So there you have it. While Rivian has built an impressive EV pickup, buyers won’t be able to fully experience all of its great features unless they pony up some cold hard cash for subscriptions. It looks like cars in the future might suck.