With infotainments getting bigger, it’s understandable why some automakers are toying around with the idea of putting ads inside your car. Selling commercials that would be displayed on the center screen would create a new revenue stream, but BMW is (thankfully) resisting that temptation. Why? Because it believes the car “is your last private space” and an ad would be an unwanted interference.
The statement was made by Stephan Durach, Senior Vice President Connected Company Development, BMW Group. Speaking during a roundtable discussion, the 52-year-old VP went on to mention a vehicle’s interior is where “you can do whatever you want by yourself.” MediaPost quotes Durach saying “To say I’m selling the screen to play a commercial – I don’t see it. It’s a private space.”
BMW installs infotainments as large as 14.9 inches inside some of its cars while others have a slightly smaller (but still big) 10.25-inch touchscreen. Pictured at the top, the Vision Neue Klasse concept had an even bigger center screen. In the case of the 7 Series and China’s new long-wheelbase 5 Series, the optional rear-seat entertainment system consists of a massive 31.3-inch display with 8K resolution. Pictured below, the huge screen in the back would be a great way to show an ad and make some money, but the German luxury brand won’t do it.
That’s not to say BMW is completely avoiding making some extra money while you’re inside the car. Yes, we’re talking about subscriptions. The company sparked a lot of controversies when it launched a monthly fee for heated seats, which was ultimately removed from the online store following the backlash. However, the other on-demand features are staying and new ones are planned to give owners access to goodies placed behind a paywall.
The next wave of EVs based on the Neue Klasse platform coming from 2025 will be even more digitalized by switching to the tenth generation of the iDrive. You’ll be controlling most of the in-car functions from that big display we mentioned earlier because the traditional controller is going away. There will be some haptic buttons on the steering wheel to access certain features. BMW is removing the driver’s display and replacing it with a dashboard-wide head-up display known as Panoramic Vision. Thankfully, neither the infotainment nor the HUD will show ads.