Mercedes Puts Rear Steering Feature Behind Annual Subscription

By Duane Beckett
Mercedes EQS
Credit: Mercedes Benz

Mercedes has decided to paywall advanced rear steering for their upcoming battery electric vehicle (BEV), the EQS:

To be fair, the 4.5-degree range rear-wheel steering (RWS) will come as standard with all Mercedes EQS without any extra charges.

However, drivers that want 10-degree rear steering will need to pay a premium subscription of about $575 per year.

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Software Lock, Not Hardware Limitation

Just to be clear, all Mercedes EQS have the physical ability and components to do 10 degrees of rear steering.  So, there is no mechanical reason for this feature being behind a paywall:

The reality is that the company is just putting a software lock on this feature and letting owners unlock it via a yearly subscription.

This has obviously rustled feathers with many automotive enthusiasts looking forward to seeing Mercedes take at Electric Vehicles, now being left with a sour taste in their mouths.

Mercedes Take On EVs

The German automaker has defined full-sized luxury cars for years. And as more and more car manufactures move towards electric vehicles, driven by both government and market pressures, the EQS is Mercedes turn:

Mercedes EQS takes all the luxurious features of the S class and puts them in an Electric Vehicle. The EQS is armed with 350 sensors to measure every small little detail. Ranging from lighting conditions to every slight acceleration.

In line with other tech-laden electric vehicles like Tesla, it also comes with artificial intelligence that can even detect the driver’s eye blinks.

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The MBUX Hyper Screen

Everything in the EQS is controlled via the MBUX hyper screen. It takes the standard LCD control panels that are common with electric vehicles and takes it to a new level.

The hyper screen consists of a 12.3-inch display in Infront of the driver, a 17.7-inch display in the center, and a 12.3-inch display for the front passenger:

And all of this gives the driver more control of the vehicle via its display system.

Conclusion

The Mercedes EQS delivers on enthusiast’s expectations. But the whole deal of restricting features using software blocks, especially when that vehicle is physically capable of doing it, has left a sour taste in the mouths of potential customers.

To top this off, Mercedes are offering EQS buyers an option to pay for the rear steering improvement upfront at a discount… Could this be the future of the EV marketplace? Tell us on Facebook.

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