Thanks to Apple Your next BMW Might Only Have Heated Seats for 3 Months

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
30,416
Apparently Apple is acting as an enabler to allow car manufacturers to embrace the evil future of microtransactions.

You paid $60k for your car? Well isn't that nice. If you want to use the heated seats you'll have to rent them from us and we'll unlock them remotely. Oh, and what can be remotely given, can also be remotely taken away.

The future is evil.

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/bmw-vehicle-as-a-platform/
 

Axman

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 13, 2005
Messages
4,939
If it's sold as a feature on the window sticker than it's not an option that may be disabled in the majority of the US. I imagine that these consumer protection rules are even strong in the EU.

But if they do decide to go with this for some reason somehow, I expect the fallout to be firmly all on the "right to tinker" side of things and we'll get a hard legal footing for jailbreaking and other software mods to hardware.
 

zamardii12

2[H]4U
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
2,770
This is terrible depending on how you look at it. But in my mind the first thing that came to mind in regards to heated seats was since I live in Florida it would be cool if I only had to have heated seats during the 1 week of cold weather we get here, but this only would be nice if it reduced the price of a car later... like if they made a standard for car heating into seats but you only paid for it when you decided to actually use it instead of the price being tacked onto the car when purchasing it. No idea how much of a good business decision this is, but I doubt this idea will take off unless they don't factor in the price of a piece of optional equipment into the overall price of the car when purchasing... but even if they don't how would you know when buying a car for say $20k... how would you know that $800 option isn't in the car price? This could potentially open a bunch of shady practices.
 

Verge

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 27, 2001
Messages
6,563
Apparently Apple is acting as an enabler to allow car manufacturers to embrace the evil future of microtransactions.

You paid $60k for your car? Well isn't that nice. If you want to use the heated seats you'll have to rent them from us and we'll unlock them remotely. Oh, and what can be remotely given, can also be remotely taken away.

The future is evil.

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/bmw-vehicle-as-a-platform/
Tesla has been doing this for 15 years, it isn't new, and has nothing to do with Apple.
 

HeadRusch

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Messages
1,261
"Microsoft considers disc-locking games to destroy the used game market". No different. Don't buy BMW's. Problem Solved. With BMW they seem to just be pushing the envelope....as good companies often do for their shareholders...let's see how they feel about us sending them subscription fees to keep the satnav working......oh, we're getting trashed in the media and nobody is buying our cars....uh let's skip that, find some other doo-dad to add into the car to mark-up the total price. We live in the age of SOFTWARE so it's only reasonable to assume they want to move to the "Automobile as a Service" model at some point. I mean, is XM radio any different? I have to pay if I want to update the maps in my car......heated seats seems exceptionally petty and I hope the Koreans would immediately start going "You know our cars come with free lifetime seat heaters...AND cup-heaters/coolers".

However, its worth noting that if you are shopping for a BMW then omg read some frickin reviews. Lease that shit for 2 years and walk-the-hell-away-as-fast-as-you-can :)
 

PhaseNoise

2[H]4U
Joined
May 11, 2005
Messages
2,872
That's because if you read the article, BMW's Digital Key Service was in partnership with Apple as mentioned at WWDC last week.
Developing over the air upgrades and an associated framework does not require BMW to suddenly become crappy with how they use it.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
26,261
Developing over the air upgrades and an associated framework does not require BMW to suddenly become crappy with how they use it.
They've been doing this from the start. Apple allowed them to do car play as a subscription unlike every other vehicle manufacturer.

But you did ask how did Apple get involved in this and I just pointed it out. I don't care one way or the other because I don't use Apple or BMW.
 

SunnyD

2[H]4U
Joined
Jul 6, 2004
Messages
3,046
If it's sold as a feature on the window sticker than it's not an option that may be disabled in the majority of the US. I imagine that these consumer protection rules are even strong in the EU.

But if they do decide to go with this for some reason somehow, I expect the fallout to be firmly all on the "right to tinker" side of things and we'll get a hard legal footing for jailbreaking and other software mods to hardware.
Doesn't stop Sirius XM from working this way, it won't stop car manufacturers from doing subscription services for other systems either.
 

Auer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
1,840
Doesn't stop Sirius XM from working this way, it won't stop car manufacturers from doing subscription services for other systems either.
Any half decent music service will charge you a fee, A music/program service has royalties to deal with and is not heated seats.
 

bigdogchris

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 19, 2008
Messages
18,165
The thing is for people not willing to do this, you are still paying for it because the parts are still there. Say if you end up having to pay for using the heated seats, you have to pay for the heating element and the equipment to turn that on and off even if you don't use it.

This isn't going to work long term for physical goods for this very reason. With digital goods it works because you can download the updated code.
 

DejaWiz

Oracle of Unfortunate Truths
Joined
Apr 15, 2005
Messages
19,798
The Monroney window sticker (and/or any lawful addendums) is the gospel.

If it's listed as an installed working feature/option, then it must remain as a working feature/option.
If it's listed as a trial/try, then it may/will have a limited time of functionality before the owner must opt-in to have functionality restored via a mutually agreed upon request, payment, or recurring fee.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
30,416
The thing is for people not willing to do this, you are still paying for it because the parts are still there. Say if you end up having to pay for using the heated seats, you have to pay for the heating element and the equipment to turn that on and off even if you don't use it.

This isn't going to work long term for physical goods for this very reason. With digital goods it works because you can download the updated code.
The theory is as follows:

It costs manufacturers a lot to maintain different varieties of things and keep track of them. Inventory management is super challenging and expensive.

You have to pay for warehouse space to keep the various different parts, you have to carry more finished goods inventory as you can never perfectly predict what features will be desired in what quantities, you have to pay people to predict which units with what features go where, and if you don't predict perfectly (which you never do) you have to discount unpopular features and risk losing money. There is a direct cost associated with having to manufacture and manage large varieties of anything.

So, the theory says, if you can make all of your units the same, or at least reduce the number of variations from 500+ down to 20, there is A LOT of cost savings to be had in manufacturing, scheduling, distribution and inventory management. You may even be able to do away with custom factory orders.

Like everything manufacturing, the larger quantities and bigger runs of things you can do, the lower the costs per unit.

On the flip side, while manufacturing, distribution and inventory costs go down, parts costs go up, because now you are putting heated seats in every model, instead of just the ones where the customer ordered them.

The theory then is that the software unlock fees paid by the customer are there to cover the overall parts costs, and everyone's lives become easier and happier. Manufacturer, customer and especially the dealers who can now customize the exact features a customer wants, easily.

In theory this isn't a bad approach.

I actually wouldn't even mind it if the following are true:
1.) The cost to unlock a feature like heated seats is the same as it would have been in the past to order the feature with the car.
2.) The base cost of the car doesn't go up to cover all the extra parts now being installed.
3.) The feature unlocks are permanent. No removing the features you've paid for when a new owner buys the car.
4.) The feature unlocks are pay once, no rental agreements.

If all the above is true, and all the extra parts costs are covered through the combination of fees charged for unlocks no higher than previous feature costs, and cost savings at the manufacturer, I am all for this.

If any single one of those bullet points are not true, then I am 100% against this.

That said, I was likely never going to buy a BMW anyway...
 
Last edited:

OFaceSIG

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
2,422
I don't buy cars from crappy car companies. I keep cars for a long time. Easily 10 years if I can. Cars like BMWs, Mercs, Audis, yep calling out the Germans, don't last at all. 90s Mitsubishis lasted longer.

They are electrical gremlin nightmares.

I'll take Honda/Toyota, Kia/Hyundai for the foreseeable future and be just fine with it.
 

UltraTaco

Gawd
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
582
....
But if they do decide to go with this for some reason somehow, I expect the fallout to be firmly all on the "right to tinker" side of things and we'll get a hard legal footing for jailbreaking and other software mods to hardware.
Actually, this is what the prosecutor will say when they book you and take you to court:

"Yada yada, per user agreement, you have no right to modify features in any way. The car isn't yours, you purchased a $60,000 license to use the device."
 

DukenukemX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Messages
4,860
Actually, this is what the prosecutor will say when they book you and take you to court:

"Yada yada, per user agreement, you have no right to modify features in any way. The car isn't yours, you purchased a $60,000 license to use the device."
As someone who only buys used cars and not new cars, they can go fuck themselves. Firstly I would never buy a BMW because they're just huge hunks of shit cars. They become expensive money pits to repair and maintain. If for some reason I happen to be the owner of such crap vehicle then I will be modifying the system to get all the features working. How exactly are they going to find out if the vehicle has been modified? You think I'm going to take it to a stealership? You think my modifications won't include disabling the phone home system? Chances are anyone who modifies the system will probably replace it entirely with an aftermarket. Will probably hurt the resale value of these cars even further because who wants to deal with this? BMW's do not have good resale value for this reason.

BTW, Youtuber by the name Rich Rebuilds is starting to pull away from Tesla for the same reason. Tesla's are awesome cars but if you can't fast charge it in any way and can't use the features that came with the car then Good Bye Tesla.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
30,416
I don't buy cars from crappy car companies. I keep cars for a long time. Easily 10 years if I can. Cars like BMWs, Mercs, Audis, yep calling out the Germans, don't last at all. 90s Mitsubishis lasted longer.

They are electrical gremlin nightmares.

I'll take Honda/Toyota, Kia/Hyundai for the foreseeable future and be just fine with it.
Yeah, the fabled German engineering used to be great back in the day.

As long as you take care of the body so it doesnt rust to shreds, a 1976 to 1986 Mercedes 300D with it's WW2 era German diesel will last for bloody ever.

Everything went to shit in the 90's as feature creep became a huge thing in the luxury automotive market.

The fabled German Engineering is mostly a mechanical engineering thing.

I can't bring myself to drive a Toyota though. Those cars just don't have a soul. They drive like dead appliances.

Volvo has been my home lately. They were very reliable in the 90's and early 2000's, but who knows what is going to happen with the latest gen of cars long term. The old models used to be conservative designs with simpler features, which is probably why they were so reliable. The new ones have extreme feature creep and the engine designs have become crazily complex.

When I bought my 2017 S90 T6, I paid extra for the extended warranty, so I am covered until 2026 or 100K miles whichever comes first. I just was not comfortable with all the expensive looking features, and the 2.0L four cylinder with both a turbo and a supercharger delivering 320hp into a 8 speed automatic. All of that sound potentially less reliable than the designs of the past, and much more expensive to repair/replace.

As soon as my warranty is expired, I'll likely sell the car. Too risky to keep it after that.
 

UltraTaco

Gawd
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
582
Well, to think old vehicles will be around forever may cause misleading comfort. Eventually those "featured up" cars will be the only thing left.
 

jmilcher

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
4,535
Apparently Apple is acting as an enabler to allow car manufacturers to embrace the evil future of microtransactions.

You paid $60k for your car? Well isn't that nice. If you want to use the heated seats you'll have to rent them from us and we'll unlock them remotely. Oh, and what can be remotely given, can also be remotely taken away.

The future is evil.

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/bmw-vehicle-as-a-platform/
How the blame is placed on Apple and not BMW is beyond me. You really have a thing for Apple.
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
30,416
How the blame is placed on Apple and not BMW is beyond me. You really have a thing for Apple.
I think it falls on both, but more on BMW.

Apple may have been slightly emphasized just to demonstrate how the news is relevant to a tech forum ;)
 

Armenius

Fully [H]
Joined
Jan 28, 2014
Messages
22,822
The thing is for people not willing to do this, you are still paying for it because the parts are still there. Say if you end up having to pay for using the heated seats, you have to pay for the heating element and the equipment to turn that on and off even if you don't use it.

This isn't going to work long term for physical goods for this very reason. With digital goods it works because you can download the updated code.
If I didn't want heated seats I'd look for an optioned model without them in the first place.
Yeah, the fabled German engineering used to be great back in the day.

As long as you take care of the body so it doesnt rust to shreds, a 1976 to 1986 Mercedes 300D with it's WW2 era German diesel will last for bloody ever.

Everything went to shit in the 90's as feature creep became a huge thing in the luxury automotive market.

The fabled German Engineering is mostly a mechanical engineering thing.

I can't bring myself to drive a Toyota though. Those cars just don't have a soul. They drive like dead appliances.

Volvo has been my home lately. They were very reliable in the 90's and early 2000's, but who knows what is going to happen with the latest gen of cars long term. The old models used to be conservative designs with simpler features, which is probably why they were so reliable. The new ones have extreme feature creep and the engine designs have become crazily complex.

When I bought my 2017 S90 T6, I paid extra for the extended warranty, so I am covered until 2026 or 100K miles whichever comes first. I just was not comfortable with all the expensive looking features, and the 2.0L four cylinder with both a turbo and a supercharger delivering 320hp into a 8 speed automatic. All of that sound potentially less reliable than the designs of the past, and much more expensive to repair/replace.

As soon as my warranty is expired, I'll likely sell the car. Too risky to keep it after that.
Funny thing about that is the Germans went to Toyota for advice in how to cut manufacturing costs. I imagine that's why quality has gone down significantly over the years.
 

UltraTaco

Gawd
Joined
Feb 21, 2020
Messages
582
Very interesting, because muh toyodas are quite reliable! One thing I have beef with is when you start cold, run like 30 seconds, then turn off, she wont start next time😡

Muh camry did it, venza does it, and tundra tried to, but because v8, it powered through. There was a hint of "failstart" sound though.

All engines run fine after you eventually get them to start and no issues afterwards. Just lots of smoke initially after cranking too long.😔
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
30,416
If I didn't want heated seats I'd look for an optioned model without them in the first place.

Funny thing about that is the Germans went to Toyota for advice in how to cut manufacturing costs. I imagine that's why quality has gone down significantly over the years.
Toyota was traditionally pretty good at maintaining quality though. They were the model for the world for a long time with the Toyota Production System.

If you studied operations or engineering at any point in the last 35 years you probably studied TPS. Everything from modern quality control and quality assurance, statistical process control, just in time manufacturing, Lean, Agile, you name it. Toyota perfected it and became the envy of manufacturers everywhere.

While the origins of the Six Sigma philosophy are often traced to Motorola, all of what Motorola did was based on traditional Japanese "Plan Do Check Act" cycles and TPS. They practically teach that shit in kindergarten in Japan, it is so ingrained in society.

So, I don't blame Toyota for this. I blame Mercedes adding the kitchen sink of gizmos and features to their cars without a corporate history of perfecting electrical and software engineering.
 
Last edited:

TheGardenTool

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 12, 2006
Messages
2,866
They went in the 1990s?
Porsche did. That’s why the 911 996 and Boxster 986 share so many parts.

The CarPlay stuff makes sense when you look at it how BMWs are traditionally leased. You pay for 3 years of if, if you’ll use it, and save money versus whatever they were charging extra for it before that. Even if other manufactures aren’t including it as a line item extra no doubt you are also paying a good amount for it. The rest of this will be interesting and more interesting to see how people hack it to enable everything.
 

OFaceSIG

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 31, 2009
Messages
2,422
Yeah, the fabled German engineering used to be great back in the day.

As long as you take care of the body so it doesnt rust to shreds, a 1976 to 1986 Mercedes 300D with it's WW2 era German diesel will last for bloody ever.

Everything went to shit in the 90's as feature creep became a huge thing in the luxury automotive market.

The fabled German Engineering is mostly a mechanical engineering thing.

I can't bring myself to drive a Toyota though. Those cars just don't have a soul. They drive like dead appliances.

Volvo has been my home lately. They were very reliable in the 90's and early 2000's, but who knows what is going to happen with the latest gen of cars long term. The old models used to be conservative designs with simpler features, which is probably why they were so reliable. The new ones have extreme feature creep and the engine designs have become crazily complex.

When I bought my 2017 S90 T6, I paid extra for the extended warranty, so I am covered until 2026 or 100K miles whichever comes first. I just was not comfortable with all the expensive looking features, and the 2.0L four cylinder with both a turbo and a supercharger delivering 320hp into a 8 speed automatic. All of that sound potentially less reliable than the designs of the past, and much more expensive to repair/replace.

As soon as my warranty is expired, I'll likely sell the car. Too risky to keep it after that.
All my cars except my van have manual transmissions as well. Another thing I do to ensure longevity.
 
Top