Volkswagen fans who are planning to purchase one of the German automaker’s future electric vehicles for their autonomous driving features should prepare themselves for the possibility of some unexpected premiums. Thomas Ulbrich, a Volkswagen board member, recently told local newspaper Die Welt that the company was considering charging an hourly fee of $8.50 for the privilege of a hands-free and AI-assisted driving experience. Additional subscription features that would unlock extended range and/or greater performance for an hourly or daily charge have also been discussed. Similar to select Tesla models, some of Volkswagen’s upcoming electric vehicles will include infotainment systems for playing video games.
“In autonomous driving, we can imagine that we switch it on by the hour. We assume a price of around seven euros per hour. So if you don’t want to drive yourself for three hours, you can do it for 21 euros,” said Klaus Zellmer, chief sales officer of the Volkswagen brand. In a swipe at Tesla, he said that by charging hourly fees, VW would make autonomous driving more accessible than “a car with a five-digit surcharge.”