Could the Luxury Driving Experience Be Transformed By Subscriptions?

BMW has been synonymous with the creation of high-quality vehicles for a number of decades and it is fair to say that the company has proven itself to be very forward-thinking across that time as well.

The latter element was put in the spotlight once again at the start of July, when the organization hosted a special press event based around virtual reality. Furthermore, they used the showcase to highlight an intriguing new innovation which will be introduced to their cars in the future.

A new way to access features

Sites including TechCrunch have reported on how the organization unveiled a range of updates to its in-car software during the event, with a key announcement revolving around how people may access more luxurious features going forward.

One of the updates could give drivers access to features that were built into their car but not activated at the time of purchase. For instance, while making use of the in-built heated seats may not have been on your agenda when you bought the vehicle, you might be able to switch them on further down the line or even purchase a subscription to use them for a short period.

TechCrunch adds that the move may also mean that BMW can create special promotions related to features that can be enabled in this way. For example, the website explained how the brand could offer motorists a free trial period of a few months, so they can see how they might benefit from the systems.

Reflecting wider trends

The idea of being able to subscribe to or enjoy a free trial of systems within a car is certainly an intriguing one and it perhaps brings the automotive world in line with many other areas that are already doing similar things.

For instance, many of us are used to seeing streaming services offer free trial periods to new customers, while some may also provide additional perks for an extra cost. Amazon is perhaps an example of this, as subscribers to its Prime service can enjoy a range of different content for a monthly or annual charge. Furthermore, they can also pay extra to upgrade to specific services, such as Amazon Music HD.

In addition, video gaming services like Google Stadia operate on a subscription basis and are known to offer free trials, while recipe box delivery services have also taken a similar approach and used introductory offers as well. Free trials are also common in the IT world, with forex demo accounts offering access to brokers on a trial basis. This means beginners can get to grips with platforms, while more experienced traders can evaluate the services offered by a specific company.

Not the only one

However, while BMW may have attracted plenty of attention with its recent announcement, the company does not appear to be the only automotive organization looking into such ideas.

Towards the end of June, Nvidia confirmed it was partnering with Mercedes-Benz to create a “revolutionary” in-vehicle computing system and AI infrastructure. Expected to be included in vehicles from 2024, the system could boost automated driving functions and offer a host of other benefits.

For example, the official press release confirmed how customers may be able to purchase capabilities, apps and subscription services via over-the-air software updates which will be provided throughout the life of the car. Jensen Huang, the founder and CEO of Nvidia, said the pair hoped to “revolutionize the car ownership experience”.

A fascinating future awaits

The driving experience has been completely transformed by many technological innovations through the years and these recent announcements are a fascinating glimpse at what is set to come next.

The idea of being able to add or remove certain luxury features within a car could bring a whole new level of flexibility to how we use such vehicles and may also mean we can access the best combination of systems to meet our needs. It will be intriguing to see how car manufacturers make use of such capabilities, as well as what else may well be in store across the years ahead.