Missed an options box when ordering your new Mercedes? You're able to unlock certain features remotely. For a fee, naturally.
Mercedes has made much of its new Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, with its natural voice input and clever augmented-reality capability.
As it turns out, the system will also allow owners to remotely unlock certain functions after they've bought the car. Owners of the latest-generation A-Class, B-Class and GLE will be able to add things like digital radio, smartphone mirroring, and factory navigation once they've actually taken delivery of their car.
Mercedes-Benz makes it all sound very simple, with owners able to order the upgrade through the Mercedes Me store application, before activating the option (read: paying) online.
According to the company, there are a number of potential applications for the system. The setup it "particularly attractive in cases where the customer has forgotten to order an option ex-factory," it claims.
"It is also a good opportunity for second or third owners to adapt the vehicle to their own wishes," the Mercedes-Benz release goes on.
"Not least, it also helps the long-term value retention of cars. For example, Digital Radio will become mandatory for new vehicles in the European Union from 2020. Customers can therefore upgrade their existing vehicle with the latest technology at a later time, increasing its resale value," it concludes.
Mercedes isn't alone in offering paid, software-based unlocking for certain features. Although it doesn't offer the base Model S anymore, Tesla at one point would sell you a car with a 75kWh battery pack software-locked to 60kWh.
Want more range? Pay a fee, and the company would unlock the remaining 15kWh. Tesla has also unlocked that extra range for owners threatened by natural disasters, before returning their cars to stock once the danger was over.
Mercedes-Benz will be launching Mercedes me Connect locally during March. Information like available functions and features will be announced closer to launch.