Self-driving technology, once a distant dream, is rapidly becoming a reality. Leading this charge, BMW announced its innovative entry into automated driving. The new BMW 7 Series will debut next spring and feature advanced self-driving capabilities, positioning it alongside competitors like Tesla and Ford.
Personal Pilot L3: BMW's leap into automation
BMW's Personal Pilot L3, a Level 3 highly automated driving system, marks a significant milestone in automotive technology. This system allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel and divert their attention from the road for short periods. Unlike traditional driving, BMW's technology can manage lane changes, signalling, and forward movement. It's an all-encompassing driving experience, allowing drivers to engage in activities like making calls or enjoying streaming services via the digital console, all while the car navigates the journey.
How does it work?
Suitable for use at speeds up to 60 km/h (37 mph) on divided highways, BMW's automated system is unique in its ability to function in darkness, thanks to sophisticated sensors. Activation is straightforward: a light on the dashboard indicates readiness and a button on the steering wheel engages the system. Drivers are alerted through visual and acoustic signals when they need to take control. If the driver fails to respond, the car will safely and gradually come to a stop.
Availability and cost
With plans to expand to other markets, BMW's Personal Pilot L3 will first be available in Germany from spring onwards. Customers ordering the new Series 7 from December can opt for this feature at an additional cost of €6000. However, it's important to note that this option is not available for the i7 eDrive50 and i7 M70 xDrive models. The technology will be installed in vehicles starting in March 2024.
BMW's new 7 Series is set to revolutionise the driving experience with its Personal Pilot L3, offering unprecedented automation. It's a significant step towards the future of autonomous driving, blending luxury with cutting-edge technology.