Volkswagen’s self-driving media play

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Volkswagen’s autonomous vehicle plans are media plans – here’s why that matters. 

The german car giant estimates that the price of peace of mind is $8.50 for both self-driving and media offers. VW is also planning subscription models for a full set of digital features in its electric cars, including access to video games, allowing drivers to while away the minutes while re-charging their vehicle.

The details

  • VW is reported to be exploring an hourly fee once all the features it intends to offer with its autonomous cars are in place; and it’s apparently looking at a range of subscription models for its electric cars, too, including “range or performance” increases that will be available on daily or even hourly packages.
  • VW board member Thomas Ulbrich told Die Welt newspaper that initial subscription features will be available in the second quarter of next year, including video games, although VW won’t be producing the games itself. “In the charging breaks, even if they only last 15 minutes, we want to offer customers something,” Ulbrich said.
  • As more parts of a car are managed through software, it becomes possible to opt in or out of many – and be charged accordingly. VW’s chief sales officer Klaus Zellmer says the company envisages subscriptions eventually earning hundreds of millions of euros in additional revenue. But it is autonomous-car subscription packages that VW, along with other carmakers, are eyeing as the real money makers. These could include the option, during a journey, to pay in order to go fully autonomous for a limited time, before once again taking control of your car.

Key quote

 “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.” Klaus Zellmer, Volkswagen chief sales officer

Sourced from Ars Technica

This article first appeared in www.warc.com

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