It's 2020 and everything from video games to your car's heated seats is moving to the monthly subscription model. Included in the switchover is General Motors' new advanced driver assistance feature, Super Cruise, which enables owners to experience partially automated driving while piloting their vehicles in certain conditions. We've known this for some time, but one thing that remained unknown for some time is the cost—until now.
As initially reported by Autoblog, GM will begin charging Cadillac owners whose vehicles are equipped with Super Cruise $25 per month to keep the feature active once the three-year free trial runs out. This charge covers a standalone subscription to Super Cruise, though owners who also have a subscription to OnStar (which may range from $14.99 per month up to $44.99 per month) can add Super Cruise functionality for an extra $15 per month.
This monthly subscription cost comes on top of the equipment's upfront price. For vehicles like the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, that means paying $2,500 for the product suite and an additional $25 per month to make use of it after the vehicle's trial end. There's no one-time payment option like with the Porsche Taycan's active safety features, either—it must be paid on a subscription basis, as a Cadillac spokesperson confirmed to The Drive.
"After the complimentary connectivity expires, customers in the U.S. can purchase a stand-alone Super Cruise plan for $25 per month or add Super Cruise to select OnStar and Connected Services bundles for an additional $15 per month," a GM spokesperson told The Drive. "The Super Cruise plan enables the map updates and precise GPS corrections required for Super Cruise to function, and also connects the vehicle to an OnStar Emergency advisor in a case where a driver is non-responsive to escalating alerts."
In reality, this adds up to a subscription cost of around $300 per year. Assuming you do a lot of driving and happen to own a brand new Super Cruise compatible vehicle—for now, that's the Cadillac CT4, CT5, CT6, and Escalade—it's a relatively cost for an undeniably luxurious feature.
If drivers opt not to pay for the Super Cruise subscription after their trial ends, their vehicles will still retain active safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keep assist; however, more advanced functionality of the Super Cruise system like automatic lane change and future product updates will not be available until the subscription becomes current. Cadillac says that first year adopters of Super Cruise have been provided with a one-year complimentary extension to their service, which is convenient as 2018 model year vehicles will see their trials beginning to end this month.
Tesla plans a similar route for its Full Self-Driving suite, previously having announced a subscription pricing model to be on the menu by the end of 2020.
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