German automaker Volkswagen is considering a service that will charge passengers in its self-driving cars on an hourly basis. For example, if you don’t want to drive your car for three hours on a long trip, you can choose the autopilot feature and pay for it. Volkswagen plans to launch the first car subscription plan based on MEB, a modular electric vehicle platform that can provide more space for electric vehicles in a smaller area.
Thomas Ulbrich, a member of the Volkswagen board of directors, said that once Volkswagen’s autonomous driving function is ready, it expects to launch the service in the second quarter of next year. In an interview with the German newspaper Le Monde, Ulbrich stated that Volkswagen plans to do so.
Provide other services related to the subscription plan for a few hours/day. Even if the vehicle’s charging time is only 15 minutes, passengers can still play video games in the vehicle. As more and more companies join electric vehicles, this new idea may become a real source of income for the auto giant.
This idea is part of the auto industry’s search to use technology to find new sources of income for itself. So the question is: Are people willing to pay by the hour for the autopilot function of the car? “In autonomous driving, we can imagine that we turn it on for several hours. We assume the price is about 7 euros per hour.
So if you don’t want to drive for three hours by yourself, you can do it for 21 euros (close to 1,870 rupees),” Klaus Zelmer, Volkswagen brand sales director, told Ars Technica. At the electric car giant Tesla, he said that Volkswagen will make it easier for commuters to drive autonomously by charging by the hour instead of “cars with a five-figure surcharge.”