BMW To Render Extras Like Heated Seating Subscription-Based

In the not too distant future, BMW intends to offer convenience features via a subscription model. These will include the likes of heated seating and other built-in features…

BMW’s Subscription Options 

BMW has revealed a variety of new features that’ll be made available via the latest version of the brand’s iDrive infotainment software. These will, in the not too distant future, include the likes of subscription-based comfort and convenience options; including heated seating. From this month, all new BMW models that utilise the seventh-generation version of iDrive will receive the new updates. Owners of current generation BMW models won’t be left out though; they’ll receive the latest options via over-the-air software upgrades.

What’s perhaps most exciting about all of this, however, is the fact that the German manufacturer intends to offer certain comfort features via a subscription-based models. What this means is that, should you overlook to buy heated seating initially, you’ll be able to activate it later on via subscription payments; meaning you’ll also only have to pay for certain in-car features when you actually want and need them. No trip to a service centre or garage will be required. The features will already be present in the car and will simply need a subscription in order to be activated.

Most Comprehensive Software Update Yet

BMW has called the new update  its “most comprehensive vehicle software upgrade to date”. It includes a redesign of the BMW Personal Assistant, wireless Android Auto connectivity and upgraded navigation options. Navigation itself will now include ‘contextual’ details, including the opening hours, ratings and even media of points of interests. Connected Parking will also reveal the best parking options, including on-street parking, in real-time. A new connected charging feature will also inform drivers of the best places to charge up their hybrids and EVs; revealing the closest charging infrastructure and the rates at a given time.

Ultimately, BMW is jumping on a broader consumer trend. Increasingly, consumers are becoming less interested in owning things. Instead, they’re placing value on flexibility and customisation options. Tesla cars, for instance, come with most of their hardware options installed. But, if customers want to use them, they need to activate them via over-the-air software purchases. This saves car manufacturers money as they don’t need to assemble increasingly large numbers of trims. It also grants drivers the option to purchase what they need, when they need it – without the need to visit a garage.

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