A novel money-making model is on the rise, where features a new car already has are blocked on default – only to be unlocked for an extra fee.
Take Mercedes-Benz for example, where the EQS and the S-Klasse have such a design, that the rear wheels have a standard steering angle of up to 4.5 degrees, but it comes with an optional feature increasing the angle to 10 degrees, translating to shorter cornering space needs because of the smaller diameter of the turning circle.
This feature could be unlocked after paying some more and the necessary software update is delivered over-the-air.
German auto makers, like the Audi, BMW and the Volkswagen are too jumped the bandwagon and offering such updates / unblocks for things like seat heating.
We are of course live in an age of perks, and already accustomed with purchasing skins and backblings in Fortnite, but hey…
The problem is that in case of the Over-the-Air software push updates this is the main intrusion vector, of which the auto makers are surely aware of, but it is far from the only one sector.
Because the worldwide after-market tuning sector (of various magnitudes) will not sit idly just because imternal combustion is vawing goodbye.
It is just a matter of time when will they start to pimp these rides with cracked, counterfeit or even custom codes.
A real cyberpunk trait, something as futuristic as these cars meant to be, maybe even more. Because this aftermarket (which will be materializing as soon as there will be a demand) will also attract hackers and crackers of both good and bad intentions.
This model might be good for the books, but it opens the door for something very scary as well. But it leads us into the inevitable era of for-subscription machines we envisaged years ago we envisaged years ago.