People Don’t Want Car Subscriptions

Investors demand automakers adopt in-car connected features for recurring revenue, but a survey by AutoPacific shows car buyers aren’t interested. Of 11 features, only 30% want to pay for a $15/month data plan for their car’s Internet access. Built-in feature subscriptions are a stupid idea that needs to stop.

From the Desk of Obvious Observations comes this report from Jonathan Gitlin.

Automakers have been trying to adopt more than just shiny gadgets and iterating software releases. They also want some of that lucrative "recurring revenue" that so pleases tech investors but makes the rest of us feel nickeled and dimed. Now we have some concrete data on just how much car buyers are asking for this stuff, courtesy of a new survey from AutoPacific. The answer is "very little."

AutoPacific asked people looking to buy a new vehicle about their interest in 11 different in-car connected features, starting with a data plan for the car for a hypothetical price of $15/month.

The results may chasten some of the investors demanding that the car companies keep traveling down this path. The most in-demand or desirable feature was Internet connection with a Wi-Fi hotspot—not an unreasonable demand for $15 per month. But only 30 percent of people looking to buy a new car said they were interested in paying for their car's Internet access.

Ars Technica

Subscriptions for features already built into your car that do not rely on a cellular connection are a no-good, idiotic, very bad idea. I'm glad to see car buyers aren't as enamored with shiny new tech as car executives and investors would like to believe. This stupidity needs to stop.