Do you remember when you bought your first new car and spent time choosing which options you'd add on: Heated seats? The "chrome package"? Motorized cup-holder? Granite trim? If you didn't specify them when you ordered your car, they were expensive or even impossible to add a year or two down the road.
But this is the future and we've made a bit shift from atoms to bits. Now, car manufacturers like Tesla are including all the hardware in every model but, in less expensive models, Tesla is limiting certain features or functionality. If you decide you want the on-board navigation or the higher capacity battery after all, you can pay a fee and your car's software will be updated accordingly.
Sound like when I play Pokemon Go and need some lures? Yup - you just bought an "in-app purchase" for your car. With Tesla leading the way, this could be the future for many car manufacturers. Tweaking software is certainly a cheaper option for manufacturers than having multiple versions of hardware. Plus, it potentially opens up higher-end makers to lower-end users, offering an upgrade path that is less expensive than an entirely new model.
What do you think? Would you buy a car that has some functionality disabled that you could then turn on down the road when you were ready to pay?
- Rose R.