BMW recently announced its microtransactional subscription service for heated seats as well as a few other things, and it’s safe to say it did not get a great response. Now, grey-market hackers have said they will help unlock this by bypassing the subscription.
These hackers have been doing this with BMW features for a number of years so they know the system and have previously done services such as removing unwanted programmes and adding Android screen mirroring.
View this post on Instagram
Content marketing specialist at Bimmer Tech, Paul Smith, explained to Motherboard:
“We’re always listening to our customers and finding ways to offer the features they’re looking for. As long as BMW makes it possible to activate heated seats, we can look at offering it.
“If BMW doesn’t allow it, then the same feature could be added with a hardware retrofit, so in the end, the driver is always going to be able to get what they want.”
Previously, additional features and packages on new cars were physical. However, with a lot nowadays being software upgrades, hackers are finding ways around these without the customer having to pay the manufacturer.
These have included features such as: automatic windscreen wipers, adaptive cruise control and automatic headlights. Automakers can make a huge amount of additional income from selling software upgrades, but many people see this has paying twice for the same thing as the cars will all have the software built in anyway so you pay when you buy the car and then again when you pay to unlock the feature.
The parent company of Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler – Stellantis – has revealed that they expect to make $22.5 billion from software sales alone.