If you usually consider luxurious automotive options, do you envision wealthy leather-based seating and lavish trim? Superior cruise management and clever self-parking? No matter you’re imagining, I’m betting “dim my headlights so I don’t blind other people” isn’t it.

However not solely has BMW used its “High Beam Assistant” as an upsell for well over a decade, it’s additionally charging drivers further to unlock the security function that’s already constructed into their automobiles — by shopping for it as an over-the-air software program replace.

Apparently, this has been occurring for nearly two years, however Automobile Journal editor Jake Groves introduced it to my consideration for the primary time this week in this viral tweet:

Let’s neglect the value for a second, as a result of that’s not what infuriates me. (Within the grand scheme of issues, £160 isn’t an enormous quantity in your common BMW purchaser to spend.) It’s that the remainder of us are relying on BMW drivers being such good residents that they’ll spend their very own cash to keep away from displaying off the ability of their blazing headlights, all as a result of a automotive firm locked a wonderfully good public security function behind a digital paywall.

Maybe there needs to be a regulation about this? Don’t anticipate the US to maneuver on that anytime quickly, although; a special expertise referred to as adaptive beam headlights are actually still illegal in the United States, whereas we anticipate the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) to situation a closing determination on whether or not to even permit them, a lot much less encourage their use. That ruling was supposed to return final yr. I’ve requested the NHTSA whether or not there’s been any motion, and I’ll let you already know what I hear.

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