BMW is planning to launch a subscription service that would allow drivers of its cars to “see” speed cameras, traps, and other traffic-enforcement measures before they get caught by them.
The German automaker will offer the technology as part of its ConnectedDrive suite, which already includes concierge services, online speech processing, and, most importantly, real-time traffic information, reports Automotive News.
Plenty of phone apps such as Waze and Google Maps already offer this sort of service, but what sets BMW’s system apart from those is that it relies on a nationwide network of public fixed and mobile traffic camera locations, rather than the crowd-sourced data of Google and Waze. The system also uses data from radar and laser detectors to notify the driver through their infotainment display in real time.
The service is powered by Here Technologies and Cedar Electronics, and will be available as a three-month trial on certain 2021-model-year vehicles; after that point, it will show up on owners’ bills as a US$25 charge for 15 months.
“For decades, people have used radar detectors for the same purpose,” Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst for Guidehouse Insights said. “You’re spending a little bit of money to get that peace of mind, knowing that you’re going to get some advanced warning.”
The subscription service is part of an industry-wide push for more pay-as-you-go features, a reliable way for automakers to make more money.