In the car industry, features-on-demand (FoD) refers to the concept of remotely enabling, disabling, or upgrading a vehicle’s features through over-the-air (OTA) updates after the vehicle has left the production line. Customers will have the flexibility to pick features as and when needed to personalise their driving experience. These on-demand features can be accessed through various options, including monthly or yearly subscriptions, larger one-time payments, or a pay-per-use model, providing greater flexibility for customers.
No Hardware Modification
For the new enabled functions to be available after the update, all the necessary hardware components will have to be pre-installed at the factory. This means that the vehicle must already have the physical capability for each feature. The driver can then choose to activate or deactivate specific functions as desired. To activate a feature, the car owner will have to log into a dedicated application or portal and purchase the feature. The feature will be available when the update has been downloaded and the car has restarted.
Features-on-demand (FoD) encompass a range of enhancements such as a navigation system with real-time traffic updates, a Wi-Fi hotspot for connectivity, remote start functionality, advanced lighting options, and features like vehicle tracking and remote monitoring. Customers also have the flexibility to upgrade their vehicle’s performance by activating sport mode, adjusting suspension settings, utilising parking-assist features, or increasing horsepower. On the other hand, FoD can also include more basic features like heated or ventilated seats or an upgraded infotainment system.
The Benefits and Drawbacks
Instead of building several models with different equipment grades, car manufacturers can produce one base model and have customers unlock the features they actually need. The streamlining process for building one fully equipped vehicle model could reduce manufacturing costs enough to save on the cost of adding extra hardware. Carmakers could offer a more affordable base model and potentially lower the upfront cost of a vehicle. But carmakers could still generate revenue by offering attractive FoD options. All the while, the vehicle could adapt to changing needs and technological advancements over time.
Features-on-demand are ultimately controlled by the manufacturer. If the manufacturer decides to discontinue or no longer support certain features, car owners may lose access to them in the future. Some manufacturers may continue to provide updates and support for feature activations, while others may phase out certain features or limit support over time. This can impact the longevity and availability of FoD features throughout the vehicle’s lifespan. Some features that were initially included as standard may transition to a FoD model, requiring additional subscriptions to access them. This can potentially lead to frustration among car owners who previously had access to those features without incurring additional costs.
- On-demand car features
- Features on Demand
- In-Car Subscriptions
- Software-activated features