While you sometimes consider luxurious automobile options, do you envision wealthy leather-based seating and lavish trim? Superior cruise management and clever self-parking? No matter you’re imagining, I’m betting “dim my headlights so I don’t blind different individuals” isn’t it.
However not solely has BMW used its “Excessive Beam Assistant” as an upsell for nicely over a decade, it’s additionally charging drivers further to unlock the protection function that’s already constructed into their vehicles — by shopping for it as an over-the-air software program replace.
Apparently, this has been happening for almost two years, however Automotive Journal editor Jake Groves introduced it to my consideration for the primary time this week on this viral tweet:
For reference, that is the unique pop up message I obtained on the system – could not snap it final evening as I used to be mid-drive. BMW retailer says it is £160 for “limitless” use… pic.twitter.com/zLbkuktEwV— Jake Groves (@_jakegroves) March 25, 2021
Let’s overlook the worth for a second, as a result of that’s not what infuriates me. (Within the grand scheme of issues, £160 isn’t an enormous quantity in your common BMW purchaser to spend.) It’s that the remainder of us are relying on BMW drivers being such good residents that they’ll spend their very own cash to keep away from exhibiting off the ability of their blazing headlights, all as a result of a automobile firm locked a superbly good public security function behind a digital paywall.
Maybe there ought to be a regulation about this? Don’t anticipate the US to maneuver on that anytime quickly, although; a special expertise referred to as adaptive beam headlights are literally nonetheless unlawful in america, whereas we look ahead to the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) to difficulty a last determination on whether or not to even enable them, a lot much less encourage their use. That ruling was supposed to return final yr. I’ve requested the NHTSA whether or not there’s been any motion, and I’ll let you understand what I hear.