What would you pay for autonomous driving? Volkswagen hopes $8.50 per hour
The future of driving may cost you $8.50 per hour if Volkswagen follows through on its boardroom musings. The German automaker is considering charging an hourly fee for access to autonomous driving features once those features are ready. "In autonomous driving, we can imagine that we switch it on by the hour. We assume a price of around seven euros per hour. So if you don't want to drive yourself for three hours, you can do it for 21 euros," said Klaus Zellmer, chief sales officer of the Volkswagen brand. In a swipe at Tesla, he said that by charging hourly fees, VW would make autonomous driving more accessible than "a car with a five-digit surcharge." Autonomous driving is what will likely make or break Volkswagen's subscription ambitions. In studies of willingness to pay for autonomous driving, the range tends to be $1,000-$7,000, which would buy you between 120-820 hours on Volkswagen's plan. Drivers typically value their time at 20-40 percent of their wages, and given that the average American wage is around $52,000 per year, or about $26 per hour, Volkswagen isn't necessarily being unreasonable with its pricing.