BMW has announced that it’s no longer going to charge users to use Apple’s CarPlay in its vehicles, according to reports.
Initially, BMW would charge $300 to include the CarPlay feature in a vehicle, and then it would charge $80 a year for customers to use it. However, customers complained about the price, which prompted the change in decision.
The fee is no longer going to be charged to cars that have the most recent version of BMW’s ConnectedDrive system. Users that don’t have the latest version will still have to pay, but it will be a one time fee of £235.
Users who’ve already paid for the year aren’t going to get a refund, but they won’t have to pay any charges in the future. The new changes to CarPlay will be instituted in the U.K. first, and then be rolled out in other countries.
Apple doesn’t actually charge manufacturers for the use of CarPlay, and it leaves it up to them to decide what to charge for the service (if anything).
In other BMW news, the car company has been expanding into China and developing autonomous technology for cars, so that it can be at the forefront of the technology when the self-driving wave hits the mainstream.
The company has teamed up with tech giant Tencent for data computing and also a storage platform, because Chinese law says foreign companies can’t host Chinese data without a partnership with a local outfit.
The two companies will have a computing center in Tianjin by the end of 2019, and in the meantime BMW has been steadily expanding its footprint in the autonomous passenger car data market.
In February, the company’s navigation app Here teamed up with Chinese service Navinfo to collect local data about China.
Tencent has been seeking to diversify lately and put more attention on outside operations as its gaming business comes under increased scrutiny from regulators.
“Tencent is committed to assisting automotive companies in the digital transformation,” said Dowson Tong, the company’s president of Cloud and Smart Industry.