Why Autonomous Driving Sounds Cool But Might Be Expensive
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Why Autonomous Driving Sounds Cool But Might Be Expensive

Why Autonomous Driving Sounds Cool But Might Be Expensive
Posted in Volkswagen On By Aaron

Autonomous driving is heralded as the next big thing in the motoring industry. However, one particular manufacturer has their eyes set on monetising it.

It's the dream of many motorists. To get into a car and have it simply take you to your destination, whilst you watch a movie, play a video game or maybe just have a nap. But as with any brand new technology, some brands are looking at ensuring they can make money out of your dream.

One of the world's largest brands, the German automaker Volkswagen are considering adding a subscription to their up and coming autonomous driving technology.

According to the German newspaper Die Welt, Thomas Ulbrich, a Volkwagen board member, has said that subscription features will start to appear in the second quarter of 2022. These will be based in vehicles on the Volkswagen MEB platform, so the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback and ID.4 SUV.

Vehicle manufacturers are keeping a keen eye on any pay-to-play type apps across the entire tech world. Apps like Netflix and video games that can be acquired on the Google/Apple app stores are making millions if not billions per year. 

An image of the interior of the Volkswagen ID.3 electric hatchback

So how will a subscription work?

Details aren't set in stone yet but as autonomous driving technology becomes more realistic and used on public roads, using it will cost you by the hour and you will be charged on a monthly basis. So you may need to have your credit card handy!

Subscribing to a service related to your vehicle isn't exactly a new thing, with brands like BMW charging $80 per year for Apply CarPlay back in 2019. However, this plan backfired for BMW as the outrage from motorists prompted them to offer the Apple CarPlay service free to all owners.

An image of the interior of the Volkswagen Tiguan

Just how much will it cost exactly? 

Klaus Zellmer, a chief sales officer at Volkswagen says: “In autonomous driving, we can imagine that we switch it on by the hour. We assume a price of around seven euros per hour. So if you don’t want to drive yourself for three hours, you can do it for 21 euros”.

Seven euros is roughly 6 pounds at the time of this article. If you used the autonomous driving technology for three hours five days a week, you would be looking at a yearly cost of £4,320 just to be chauffeured around by your car.

Volkswagen wants the autonomous driving technology subscriptions to make up a large portion of their revenue eventually, with Zellmer saying "subscriptions will eventually make the company hundreds of millions of euros in additional revenue".

 

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