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Insights / Blog / Business

Think outside the box, drive farther: Auto manufacturers focus on new pay-per-use features

October 16, 2019
Steven BaileySteven BaileyChief Strategy Officer

"But can the car post the rear-view camera images directly to Instagram when parking?" Sounds absurd, but today, like many other developments, it could already be reality. Listen to music from your iPod via your car radio? Use WLAN in your car? Mirroring smartphone apps on the vehicle display? Common features today that many customers expect when buying a new car. A few years ago, however, similarly absurd ideas that car manufacturers and developers ventured to come up with for the first time - based on the needs of car drivers. In this article we will illustrate why it is worthwhile to follow this path together with experts.

Why innovative features? - Focus on the customer

Safety, navigation, comfort – there are many reasons that speak for the Connected Car from the driver's point of view. In addition to value for money, comfort, equipment and safety are among the most important factors in purchasing decisions, as shown by surveys such as the Aral Study: Trends in Car Purchasing 2019 and The most Important Decision Criteria When Purchasing a Car in Germany.

Back to the Instagram post: Does this mean that we at AOE support the idea of using a technology to distribute live images of the driver assistance system to social media channels? No. Do we think that it is worth thinking about the meaningfulness and feasibility of customer wishes? Of course. Ultimately, this special optional feature, which the customer did not really expect to be feasible, makes the difference.

This question should therefore be the only limiting factor in the first step: Which digital developments produce real added value and thus have a positive effect on the buying decision of your customers – or part of your customers?

Kian Gould

Kian Gould

Founder & CEO / AOE
The concept of the private car is currently being criticized for various reasons. In order to succeed in the market, car manufacturers must reconsider their business and think outside of the box, not only in obvious areas, but also with regard to the connectivity of their vehicles. Digital features that increase comfort and safety for drivers can have a decisive impact on purchasing behavior in these times.

Develop an innovative pay-per-use model: An example

"But can I safely keep my kids occupied in the rear of the car from the driver's seat while driving?" A question that at first it sounded as absurd as a parking-assistance-Instagram feed, but a relevant one for BWM customers with three- to thirteen-year-old children. With T-Systems, BMW and Saffron Digital, AOE developed a car entertainment solution that responds to this requirement of the target audience.

BMW's own myKIDIO interface is based on the BMW Software Development Kit (SDK). AOE's device-to-device communication (D2D) in the car is controlled via this interface. Parents can control and operate the children's end devices using the BMW ConnectedDrive – communication takes place via the Apple Multipeer Framework using the communication library developed by AOE, and billing is carried out flexibly via a subscription or time pass system.


  • Ensure complicated workflows between the different devices
  • Stabilize performance under changing reception conditions

Our Approach

  • extensive, automated tests via a simulator for the BMW software
  • tests in test vehicles in real environments
  • agility in the implementation

The Result

  • the first on-demand, subscription-based in-car streaming & download service for audio and video content.
  • satisfied BMW drivers
  • high appeal at trade fairs

Pay-per-use features: Professional implementation is key

Our practical example shows: The approach is crucial. In a rigid setting, projects relating to the connectivity of vehicles and pay-per-use features in cars can only be implemented very slowly. Our flexibility and agility in implementation as well as our continuous testing enabled us to develop an on-time, optimal solution that met the high demands.

Sometimes absurd ideas such as the one mentioned at the beginning are just that. Sometimes, however, they might be the foundation for a feature that allows customers to make purchasing decisions in your favor. The question you as a manufacturer should ask yourself is not what is feasible, but what do your customers want? We’ll take care of the rest.