Volkswagen Group’s software unit Cariad believes one of the ways the automaker can monetize future software developments is by offering customers pay-as-you-go autonomous driving technology.
“There is a new business model already out there -- a subscription model, or function-on-demand -- where you can drive autonomously if you want, for the next 50 miles. We would support that, “ Cariad CEO Dirk Hilgenberg told Bloomberg in an interview.
Although VW does not yet offer either Level 4 or Level 5 self-driving options, Hilgenberg said it was possible to see that the service would allow the automaker the opportunity to offer other services to consumers who are freed from driving the vehicle.
“You have to make sure to have what we call a digital services platform that lets the outside world in -- Google, Apple, Amazon -- where you can bring your accounts to stream and be entertained, or where you can work with office products, do a videoconference or prepare yourself for the next meeting. This is the product we want to sell. The product is our platforms,” he said.
Volvo Cars said in January its "unsupervised autonomous driving" solution, called Ride Pilot, will be available as an add-on subscription on the automaker's forthcoming full-electric flagship SUV that will go into production later this year.
Henrik Green, Volvo's head of advanced technology, said the automaker is still debating what to charge for Ride Pilot, which the company anticipates it will be very popular once it is more widely available.