Automotive

BMW considers subscription fees for optional feaures like heated seats?

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  • Jul 2nd, 2020 11:32 am
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Jan 21, 2018
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BMW considers subscription fees for optional feaures like heated seats?

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/bmw- ... -platform/

"In a VR presentation streamed from Germany today, BMW ran through a series of digital updates to its cars...
...the most notable part of the day's presentation was the new plan to turn many options into software services. BMW mentioned everything from advanced safety systems like adaptive cruise and automatic high-beams to other, more discrete options like heated seats.These options will be enabled via the car or the new My BMW app. While some will be permanent and assigned to the car, others will be temporary, with mentioned periods ranging from three months to three years. Some, presumably, will be permanent, but during the stream's Q&A portion BMW representatives demurred on the details."

Hard to say what they're thinking... could be a "free demo" period with a one-time fee to purchase. Or maybe they'd like to get into subscription fees, something like SIrius satellite radio.
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Jul 20, 2016
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didnt they stop subscription model for carplay after the massive backlash LOL

I can see where this makes sense for them if they make one car spec and lock features behind software, this way is more efficient for manufacturing I guess. Or have these features only enabled for 3-4 years (ie within warranty or a typical lease), then this way they have another monetization route in even used cars.

but then, what's gonna stop anyone from flashing the correct codes to unlock features themselves. This is like the 21st century of version of having blank buttons on the dash. .you know there's a feature available, but you didn't pay for it.
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Jul 30, 2007
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Easy solution Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes. It also covers if heat is to become a subscription base as well.
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Feb 11, 2007
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That's awesome for used car buyers. I can buy a base BMW, then enable all of the premium features with my laptop. I was able to enable more basic features on my cars, so this is great.
It is dumb for selling new cars though. Who wants to pay a monthly subscription for features?
Last edited by engineered on Jul 1st, 2020 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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they gonna advertise this as greater flexibility and cheaper for the consumer.. $500 for permanent heated seats or $10 a month for when you need them, but "cheaper" is only true if they don't charge the price of these options into the base price car, which obv not gonna happen

sounds like BMW is taking a page of EA's playbook... $80 for an unfinished game then milk hundreds more out of you in live services and loot boxes Face With Tears Of Joy
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Jul 26, 2007
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I don't get it, what's stopping dyi pirate to enable all the features? How about installing your own toggle switch for the heated seat by splicing few wires?
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"next-level gouging" describes it well.
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They know their new market. Look at the numbers of base 320is with halogen headlights and plastic interiors on the roads. It's incredible how many people will forgo even basic luxuries that cheaper competitors offer for the badge on the hood!
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peteryorkuca wrote: I don't get it, what's stopping dyi pirate to enable all the features? How about installing your own toggle switch for the heated seat by splicing few wires?
Nothing is stopping DIY pirates, but I'd presume that the vast majority of people won't bother and it'll be sufficiently profitable.

It's like the rear heated seats in a Model 3. The heating elements are there, but not activated unless one purchases the $300 OTA upgrade.
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peteryorkuca wrote: I don't get it, what's stopping dyi pirate to enable all the features? How about installing your own toggle switch for the heated seat by splicing few wires?
You can't do it easily today because the wiring is usually not there for options you didn't buy, and running a new wiring harness would be prohibitive. With BMW's new proposal would mean that all hardware and wiring would be there already. Just a software update to turn on.
For instance, I was able to install and activate a factory alarm system on my old BMW because the wiring was already there, but I couldn't turn on heated seats because the wiring wasn't there (unless I wanted to run new wiring as well).
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Nothing new here. Tesla set a precedent and now others will follow to increase their profits as well.
¯\_(-.-)_/¯ A wise RFD'er once said, "Buy now, think later."

༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ Behold!
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I know it’s not how it’s going to work but how nice would it be if you could pay monthly for some of those things. Heated seats yup I’ll have those from October to April. No need to pay for them in the summer. Sunroof yes turn that on from June to October please. I’m going to be away for a month in February and the car sitting there so turn everything off and save me some $. Winking Face

BMW is one of the leaders in the whole concept of keeping everything in house. Their certified facilities keep all their collision repair in house. They only allow OEM parts even on a 20 year old car. They want to lease you the use of the car ,the maintenance ,now the features and they are also perusing their own insurance. So someday you will not actually buy a car from them. It will be that will be 2000 a month for 3 years for the ability to drive a BMW with these features all you do is put gas in it. Everything else is on us. No buying tires,parts,oil etc from anywhere else. It always has to come back to BMW where we get bulk pricing on all that stuff and we control everything. No mods, no hacking the system etc. Effectively long term but very expensive rentals.
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Standing by for SD cards / usb drives that unlock everything forever
When given enough time, all threads on RFD can and will go off on a tangent.
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Toolatecrew wrote: I know it’s not how it’s going to work but how nice would it be if you could pay monthly for some of those things. Heated seats yup I’ll have those from October to April. No need to pay for them in the summer. Sunroof yes turn that on from June to October please. I’m going to be away for a month in February and the car sitting there so turn everything off and save me some $. Winking Face

BMW is one of the leaders in the whole concept of keeping everything in house. Their certified facilities keep all their collision repair in house. They only allow OEM parts even on a 20 year old car. They want to lease you the use of the car ,the maintenance ,now the features and they are also perusing their own insurance. So someday you will not actually buy a car from them. It will be that will be 2000 a month for 3 years for the ability to drive a BMW with these features all you do is put gas in it. Everything else is on us. No buying tires,parts,oil etc from anywhere else. It always has to come back to BMW where we get bulk pricing on all that stuff and we control everything. No mods, no hacking the system etc. Effectively long term but very expensive rentals.
except annual plan will be $240 and monthly will be $40/mth from November to April Face With Tears Of Joy

this is BMW who charged extra for BT to stream music but included BT for calls in their cars for so long lol

but microtransactions coming to cars... lol

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