Some of you may have heard of Tesla remotely disabling Autopilot on a car that was bought second hand. Tesla removed the feature as the new driver had not paid for the upgrade themselves. https://www.theverge.com/2020/2/6/21127243/tesla-model-s-autopilot-disabled-remotely-used-car-update
This brings us to an interesting future which is essentially a huge minefield.There are two things to be concerned with. One is the “right to repair”, which has always been something we have undervalued until recently as cars become more computer than mechanical. There was an interesting case a few years ago where John Deere tried to prevent farmers from repairing their own tractors by locking them out of the computers and other important features https://www.wired.com/story/john-deere-farmers-right-to-repair/
The second concern is how much of our vehicle we actually own when it comes to software. At what point do we own features and at what point are we just leasing the feature?
There are now stories of manufacturers locking the everyday person (small workshops, owners etc) from even completing brake pad changes without messing with software that only dealerships and other workshops that have special tools and pay a licensing fee have access to. This will slowly trickle down to motorcycles and that is a very bleak future for many of us who enjoy tinkering and doing basic maintenance ourselves.
Imagine needing to go to a dealership to be able to command the ECU to retract the brake caliper pistons before you put in new brake pads? How about buying a new software upgrade for your Panigale or R1 that allows an improved version of traction control but you need to have tyres with less than 10,000km on them otherwise it locks the feature. The only way to keep the feature unlocked is to get your tyres replaced at a dealership that can also reset the computer? The latter scenario is not all that difficult to do even now.
Some may argue that this is great as we should all be taking our bikes to service shops to keep them in business. But this will also put smaller shops out of business and render most vehicles virtually unaffordable to run and maintain for a lot of enthusiasts.
I am interested to hear your thoughts and views on this.