If you want the more-advanced version of the rear-wheel steering system on the Mercedes-Benz EQS, and you live in Germany, prepare to pony up to unlock the software.
It will cost you about $575 a year to get an over-the-air update that will unlock the 10-degree rear-wheel-steering system. Unless you sign up for a three-year subscription, in which case you’ll pay a bit over $1,300, which is a bit of a discount in terms of per-year rate.
For now, American buyers won’t need to worry about this — the 10-degree system is standard here (the base in Germany is 4.5 degrees of rear-wheel steering). But it’s yet another example of automakers flirting with the idea of charging customers subscription fees to access certain features.
I’m not trying to be alarmist here — just because automakers are testing the idea, it doesn’t mean it will become standard operating procedure. Automakers might find consumer backlash to be too harsh, for example.
Yet it’s one more way in which the carmakers are at least trying to see what does and doesn’t work when it comes to subscription-only access to features. No matter how the future plays out, these dipping of toes into the water, so to speak, bear watching.
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