Home / Technology / What will you pay for autonomous driving? Volkswagen hopes for $8.50 an hour

What will you pay for autonomous driving? Volkswagen hopes for $8.50 an hour

A yellow VW bus concept car drives through the beach with a surfboard on the roof.
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The future of driving could cost $8.50 an hour if Volkswagen took action, according to the board of directors.

The German carmaker is considering charging an hourly fee for access to auto-driving features when those features are available. The company is exploring a variety of subscription features for electric vehicles, including an increase. Volkswagen board member Thomas Ulbrich told German newspaper Die Welt Ulbrich that the first subscription features will appear in the second quarter of 2022 on vehicles using the platform. Volkswagen̵

7;s MEB, the foundation of the company’s new ID.3 compact car and ID.4 crossover.

The executive said Volkswagen will offer in-car video games like Tesla’s arcade. “During the charging break Even though it only took 15 minutes, we wanted to offer something to our customers,” Ulbrich said. He said the automaker would not develop the game itself. And it’s not clear if they come pre-installed or available for purchase through the App Store.

Volkswagen’s real moneymaker might be autonomous driving. “In automated driving We can only imagine that we turn on the machine on an hourly basis. We think the price is about seven euros an hour, so if you don’t want to drive yourself for three hours. You can do it for 21 euros,” said Klaus Zellmer, Volkswagen’s chief sales officer.

In a swipe at Tesla, he said that charging VW hourly fees would make autonomous driving more accessible. “Cars with a five-figure fee”

That doesn’t mean Volkswagen doesn’t hope to make serious money from its subscriptions. Overall, Zellmer said he expects the subscription will eventually bring the company hundreds of millions of additional euros.

Over the past few years, Volkswagen has focused more on software used in cars. In 2019, the company launched an effort to improve its software. At that time, across all VW Group brands, the company had an electronic architecture that up to eight different For the automaker that prides itself on developing a number of mechanical platforms. The company can be customized to different parts. The diversity of the architecture is inefficient and wasteful. The VW Group unites all software departments into one group. which was renamed Cariad in November.

“Kariad is critical to the future of our group,” Ulbrich said. Fundamental Development Unit for Future Electric Vehicles This allows us to focus on automotive software and customer applications.”

willing to pay

Automakers have been shed light on the idea of ​​subscription revenue for years. This is because additional features in the vehicle are managed through software. The idea of ​​flipping a switch to enable or disable those features is becoming more and more interesting. And after seeing the software company make changes It should come as no surprise that car companies are taking serious steps to bring subscriptions to their offerings.

Volkswagen is not the first car company to subscribe or buy aftermarket. Tesla previously offered a Model S with a 75 kWh battery, limiting its software to only 60 or 70 kWh, depending on when the car was purchased. In the case of the 70 kWh model, customers can pay $3,250 to unlock the latest 9.33%. Telsa has recently temporarily unlocked an extra mileage on those and other models to provide customers affected by hurricanes and fires. The forest added more juice to be safe.

BMW charges a $80 per year CarPlay subscription for the 2019 model year, a rental deal that saves $60 over a three-year lease compared to buying the feature out of the box. But the subscription also means BMW can double down on resale by offering a similar subscription or buy out of the box to a second owner. And if you want to keep your car for more than three years. The deal is awful, BMW is giving everyone a one year free trial. and before the trial ends The company has decided to offer free software to all owners (BMW has not abandoned this idea and is testing subscriptions for other features in some markets).

Whether or not Volkswagen’s proposed offer will be accepted by consumers is not yet known. A temporary increase in the range can occur if the price is right. As someone who is now using his 3rd EV, I can tell you that I would be willing to pay for a temporary range increase if they would save me more money than paying full capacity upfront most EVs have. A battery that exceeded my daily driving range. Increased performance can make it harder to sell on an hourly or daily basis—it can make your follow-up days more enjoyable. But I think it would be difficult to go back to a separate model the next day.

Autonomous driving is something that will likely make or break Volkswagen’s subscription ambitions. Seven euros—$8.50—per hour is a lot of money to spend to make the car self-driving. Yes, it lets people do other things. besides driving and for some drivers The rest of the time is worth it. but for most people The decision will be more difficult. In the study of willingness to pay for automated driving That range is likely to be $1,000–7,000, which will buy you between 120–820 hours according to Volkswagen’s plan. In 2018, passengers drive an average of 225 hours per year. with their time at 20-40 percent of their wages. And since the average American wages around $52,000 a year, or about $26 an hour, Volkswagen doesn’t necessarily make sense of the price.

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