Carmakers have been teasing subscription services for everything from heated seats to assisted driving features for the last couple of years. They’ve already began trickling into some models; like it or not, they’re probably going to become even more common with the passage of time.
Nobody seems terribly excited about the proposition for obvious reasons, but with this Question Of The Day, we wanted to explore the issue a bit deeper. Are there any subscriptions you’d be willing to pay for in your future new car, and if so, what are they?
Personally, my stance has always been that if a particular feature is based in software rather than hardware and is regularly updated and improved over time, there’s a more justifiable case for recurring payment to be made. Semi-autonomous driving tech would fall into that bucket, and of course you’d have the choice not to use it. As long as the cost per mile or minute didn’t come in addition to an upfront charge you’d pay to have the capability the car, I could see that working.
Where I draw the line is with traditional “dumb” features. If a manufacturer takes the time and effort and expends resources to build heating elements into each and every one of its seats, that cost is being passed onto the consumer. It seems extremely wasteful to then lock that capability away from customers who already own the car but aren’t willing to pay a monthly, seasonal or yearly cost. If that’s the future of car “ownership” we’re building toward, I’ll drive my current car until the heat death of the universe, thank you very much.
What say you? What features are you willing to give up to a subscription model?