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Mercedes, BMW cars now have DLC and it’s annoying


The image for the article titled Expensive Cars has DLC now, and it's annoying

For several years now, several car companies have been experimenting with an idea taken directly from a video game. Who somewhere figured that hey, if people are willing to pay for a game then spend more money on the game they bought, then they can do the same with cars – a much more lucrative and expensive business.

BMW for example provide a subscription service where for 18 dollars a month you can get heated seats, or pay to unlock adaptive cruise control. Tesla has expensive ($99-$199 a month!) subscription service for self-driving software on some cars, and Volkswagen, Toyota, and GM have all tested similar subscription-based unlocking or features.

Still, making headlines this week is the most infuriating example since Tesla once locked the battery range behind a charge wall. Mercedes has announced a digital purchase for its all-electric vehicles called “Accelerate, cost 1 dollar,200 a year and upon purchase, “can improve EQ car acceleration from 0.8 to 1.0 seconds.”

While cars have always had expensive add-ons—that are the backbone of the entire business model—these add-ons were previously just physical purchases. If you pay for bigger wheels, you get bigger wheels. Farewell to some extra thousand For leather seats have you favorite leather seats.

However, what is happening with these car subscription services is far more ominous. You don’t really get anything. Instead, thanks to the advancements in operating systems and communications found in modern cars, what you’re buying is a car with some restricted or locked features, after that can be activated remotely.

It’s the same reasoning video game that went on over a decade ago — and which we all shrug off together. and continued since people found out the DLC they bought was on the disc they bought. It’s the same story here; the engines in these Mercedes cars have always been able to run this fast, and locking certain elements of their performance behind a digital charge wall is causing absolute annoyance.

A common factor among all the worst examples is that they are limited to expensive, luxury vehicles, targeted at the wealthy who are probably not interested in spending. (for them) a few extra dollars a month, when they’ve dropped $100,000 or more on a car. The danger, of course, is that if those rich people start buying these things, and it turns out to be a successful business model, it won’t long before we start seeing it in a Toyota Corolla and… oh. Great.

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