The new EQS from Mercedes will have an optional feature to pay yearly for 10-degree rear steering. The standard feature from the EQS features 4.5 degrees.
However, with an annual charge, owners can increase that to 10 degrees.
This advanced option allows the car to turn in just 35.7 feet (10.9 metres). When going at or below 60 km/h, the rear wheels will turn in the opposite direction to the front wheels to reduce the turning circle.
Unlike traditional trim differences, this new feature is possible on all EQS vehicles. However, software blocks the feature unless you pay $575 per year to the auto manufacturer. This is not the first time a company has done this, but it is the first time a traditional player in the space announced this kind of pay-to-access model.
Tesla offers similar upgrades where owners can pay for increases in power or speed with one-time purchases. In addition, Tesla has a Full Self-Driving subscription option, which gives owners access to Tesla’s suite of advanced driver assistance features for $199 per month, or $10,000 USD/$10,600 CAD as a one-time fee.
At the same time, rumours are circling about other manufacturers, including Volkswagen charging $8 per hour for their owners to access their autonomous driving technology. The microtransaction era is upon us; now, we wait to see what the other manufacturers can and will offer.