A screenshot of the 2024 Ford F-150 configurator is being talked about across the internet after someone spotted a small blurb outlining Ford's intention of charging a fee for owners to activate the truck's 360-degree camera after a 90-day trial period. Critics took to Facebook, forums, and YouTube to express their distaste for subscription charges.
As it turns out, all of that internet-wide stress may have just been the consequence of an honest mistake. A Ford spokesperson confirmed to The Drive that it will not be making the 360-degree camera a subscription feature nor one locked behind a paywall, but will instead offer it as standard equipment on most trims.
Ford clarified that the XLT, Tremor, Lariat, King Ranch, Platinum, and Raptor trims will all have the feature as standard equipment. The base-trimmed XL and the STX, however, will not. There will be no after-delivery software purchase to unlock the camera, nor will there be a 90-day trial period for those lower trims. The truck either has the necessary hardware and capability, or not.
Interestingly, this isn't the first time that the idea of a subscription fee for the 360-degree camera has come up. A quick Google search will show owners of the Mustang Mach-E wondering the same thing. Some note that the subscription was originally bundled with Ford's hands-free Blue Cruise system, only to then be broken out as a $500 one-time unlock later on. Ford ended up waiving that fee earlier this year.
This isn't to say that Ford will never charge a subscription fee for in-car upgrades. In a 2021 interview with The Drive, another Ford representative said that it was "conceivable" that the automaker would equip its vehicles with hardware capable of being utilized for unreleased features in the future.
"If we can bring customers unique value, we think they will pay for that unique value," Ford Mobility's Wes Sherwood said in an earlier conversation regarding in-car subscriptions with The Drive, "Whether they pay for it in the upfront cost of the vehicle or through a subscription service over time."
At least in this case, Ford listened to its customers when it learned that many aren't interested in unlocking features in situations where the hardware is already available. BMW recently came to that very conclusion after it ended the subscription model for its heated seats.
As of the time of writing, Ford has removed the reference to a 90-day trial from the 2024 F-150 configurator, which is a great sign for anyone questioning whether they would be renting the feature.
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