BMW has announced the introduction of Level 3 highly automated driving in its new BMW 7 Series, available from next spring. This groundbreaking feature, named BMW Personal Pilot L3, allows drivers to temporarily disengage from driving tasks in certain conditions, managing the car’s speed, distance, and lane positioning.
Why It Matters
This innovation marks BMW as the first automaker to offer both Level 2 and Level 3 driving functions, enhancing driving comfort and safety. Level 3 automation represents a significant leap from Level 2, offering drivers the freedom to focus on other activities while in traffic, such as editing emails or streaming videos.
- Launch Timing: The BMW Personal Pilot L3 will be available for the new BMW 7 Series, excluding specific models, from December, with installations starting next March.
- Exclusive to Germany: Initially priced at 6,000 euros, this feature will be available exclusively in Germany.
- Level 3 Capabilities: At speeds up to 60 km/h on motorways, the system can fully assume driving tasks, even in dark conditions, thanks to advanced sensors.
- Technological Advancements: The system is supported by a new software stack, a powerful computing platform, 5G connectivity, and a suite of sensors including 3D lidar.
- User Interface: Activation and deactivation are managed via a steering wheel button, with visual and acoustic signals alerting the driver to reassume control when necessary.
- Safety Measures: If the driver fails to take control when prompted, the vehicle will come to a controlled stop.
- Connectivity Requirement: The BMW Personal Pilot L3 is contingent upon BMW Connected Drive services, valid for two years.
BMW’s introduction of Level 3 automation in the BMW 7 Series signifies a major advancement in automotive technology, offering unparalleled comfort and safety features. While initially available only in Germany, this innovation sets a new benchmark in the industry, potentially influencing future developments in autonomous driving technology.