Now the vehicle giant wants to charge for every hour that the driver uses the car’s self-driving technology.
How much would you be prepared to pay for all those benefits to your car? While Tesla charges to activate autonomous driving as a permanent feature, Volkswagen wants to charge per hour. Seven euros for 60 minutes is the proposal, which is in line with the company’s plans to offer more and more services with a subscription model.
The first subscription service will be launched during the second quarter of 2022 in cars based on the company’s MEB platform, such as ID.3 and ID.4. This is what Thomas Ulbrich, who is part of Volkswagen’s board, says to the newspaper The world. The self-driving function is something that the company hopes will become a popular service.
– For autonomous driving, we imagine that the function is activated per hour, with a price of approximately seven euros per hour. If you do not want to drive yourself for three hours, it costs you 21 euros, says Klaus Zellmer, sales manager at Volkswagen, to Die Welt.
Natural to experiment with business models
Mattias Bergman, CEO of the industry association Bil Sweden, points out that electrification reduces operating costs, which benefits both private motorists and taxi owners. He sees it as natural for companies such as Volkswagen to experiment with new business and payment models.
– When several technologies now mature in parallel, opportunities open up for new business models. The payment models will vary from charging per kilometer or per minute to combinations of these and a subscription. Then you can add services once you are in the vehicles, says Mattias Bergman to Ny Teknik.
Driverless vehicles reduce operating costs
He sees robot taxi as the main application for autonomous vehicles, rather than use for private use. By eliminating costs for the driver, robot taxi reduces operating costs by an additional 30 percent compared to regular taxis. On the other hand, the cost will initially be higher, which requires a higher degree of utilization – something that, however, sharing services help to achieve.
– It is important to remember why autonomous vehicles have a future. About 95 percent of accidents are due to mistakes made by the driver, and fewer accidents save big money for society. At the same time, it gives creative time back to the person who uses the service who was otherwise responsible for driving. Everyone wins, says Mattias Bergman.