Level 3 highly automated driving, which allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel and temporarily divert their attention away from the road, will soon be available in the new BMW 7 Series. BMW Personal Pilot L3 is the name of the new function that relieves the person at the wheel of the task of driving in certain situations and controls the car’s speed, distance to the vehicle ahead and lane positioning.
Designed to assume the entire task of driving with Level 3 capability as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the AD function will be offered exclusively in Germany priced at €6,000 (US$6,565) and can be ordered for the new BMW 7 Series (excluding the i7 eDrive50 and i7 M70 xDrive) from December to be fitted in vehicles from next March.
The introduction of Level 3 functionality in BMW 7 Series models will make the company the first manufacturer to offer not only an advanced Level 2 driving function in its product portfolio – where the hands can be taken off the steering wheel and positioned comfortably – but also a Level 3 system.
The BMW Highway Assistant already offers a highly innovative SAE Level 2 partially automated driving function in BMW 5 Series models. The package also includes a unique feature in the form of the Active Lane Change Assistant with eye confirmation, a function primarily designed for use on long-distance journeys. When traveling at up to 130km/h, this additional function of the Steering and Lane Control Assistant can take control of the car’s speed, the distance to the vehicle in front and the car’s steering.
BMW Personal Pilot L3 is activated and deactivated by a button on the steering wheel. When the function is being used, the customer still must be ready to reassume the task of driving at any time; if the driver does not respond as required, the vehicle is brought to a controlled standstill.
A live HD map with precise routes is permanently aligned with extremely accurate GPS location-finding and works with 360° sensors to ensure exact positioning and monitoring of the area around the vehicle. In the 7 Series, this functionality is underpinned technologically by a new software stack, a powerful computing platform and a 5G link-up to the BMW Cloud.
Vehicles specified with the BMW Personal Pilot L3 are also fitted with latest-generation ultrasonic sensors and radar sensors and a highly sensitive 3D lidar sensor for monitoring the area around the vehicle and the situation on the road.
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