If you usually consider luxurious automotive options, do you envision wealthy leather-based seating and indulgent 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 well 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.
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 to 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 facility of their blazing headlights, all as a result of a automotive firm locked a superbly good public security function behind a digital paywall.
Maybe there ought to be a legislation about this? Don’t anticipate the US to maneuver on that anytime quickly, although; a distinct expertise referred to as adaptive beam headlights are actually still illegal in the United States, whereas we watch for the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) to challenge a ultimate resolution on whether or not to even enable them, a lot much less encourage their use. That ruling was supposed to come back final yr. I’ve requested the NHTSA whether or not there’s been any motion, and I’ll let you recognize what I hear.