Volkswagen is preparing a future in which all cars will be loaded with all the extras and you can activate them when you need them … and pay for them.
Volkswagen has been talking to TopGear.com. He has told us that he sees an interesting future. A future of cars packed with technology and features that the owner / user / subscriber You can turn it on and off when you need it, and only pay as you use it.
Any internet connected car has been able to receive over-the-air updates (OTA) for some time now, allowing automakers to update displays, improve menus, and adjust some defects. In fact, several electric cars have seen their range increased simply from an automatic software update while the owner is asleep (at home, not in the car).
But VW sales and marketing manager Klaus Zellmer, sees this ability as the future to change the way a new model is ordered. Instead of choosing from countless options (and the brand having to tailor each unit to each customer’s specifications, which increases costs), all models will be built with all the extras and then you will simply rent them when needed.
“OTA updates allow access to a car’s operating system. The interesting thing here are the functions on demand”Explains Klaus. “If you happen to buy a car and weren’t convinced you needed an autonomous driving mode at the time, but then decide you’d love to have it, we can turn it on and then turn it off“.
“Looking ahead, we see in the future a way to access mobility only when you need it, without committing to being the owner of a car for several years“.
And how much would this cost? “This is all based on cost-profit models,” says Zellmer. “If we take the example of the modes of Level 4 autonomous driving, the price of installing it in a car is huge – a five-digit figure. Who is going to pay for that? It is not for the general public“.
“Now imagine that we install it and it is activated by the driver remotely. Our model says that if we charge seven euros an hour for level 4 autonomous driving mode, it is a profitable business case“.
“Consider getting from London to Southampton by train. How much does the ticket cost? It certainly costs more than seven euros an hour“. [Southampton es una ciudad de la costa sur de Inglaterra a unos 130 km (o dos horas en coche) de Londres. Costaría alrededor de 50 libras [unos 58 euros] a train ticket of 1 hour and 20 minutes]
Zellmer also believes that VW can stabilize the residual values of your cars with this idea. “If you can capitalize pay-per-use in your business model, it is more profitable to fully charge the car [con el equipamiento] and activate it or not according to the use of each one“.
“This is also interesting for the used market, because we can respond to changes in residual value by activating functions to increase value.“.
This article was published on Top Gear by Luis Guisado.