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BMW Improves its Autonomous Driving with Level 2 and 3 Approval

BMW has become the first carmaker in the world to be approved for a Level 2 driving assistance system with the BMW Highway Assistant and a Level 3 system with the BMW Personal Pilot L3. The BMW 7 Series has both of these features, making it leaps ahead of the competition when it comes to automated driving. 

BMW Highway Assistant

The BMW Highway Assistant is a tool that makes long travels easier and more comfortable. Being an advanced Level 2 feature, it gives a formidable advantage when it comes to long-distance journeys due to its ability to work at speeds of up to 130 kmph. It works as an extra function of the Steering and Lane Control Assistant that can be used on highways with structurally separated roadways. In such a stretch of the road, the driver can take their hands off the steering for an extended period and position them according to their comfort. This holds if it is provided that they will continuously pay attention to what happens on the road and can take the steering again at all times. 

While the car is running in partially automated mode, the BMW 7 Series is capable of making lane changes without the driver having to control the steering again. This is possible through the Active Lane Change Assistant, which performs the required steering movements for the overtaking manoeuvre and adjusts the speed as required as soon as the traffic situation allows. Adding to this, the driver can initiate a lane change suggested by this system by simply looking in the exterior mirror to confirm it. 

BMW Personal Pilot

Highly automated Level 3 driving allows the driver to take their hands off the steering wheel and temporarily turn their attention away from the road. The BMW Personal Pilot L3 feature in the 7 Series provides a completely new driving experience by enabling drivers to entirely give the task of driving their car under particular conditions at speeds up to 60 kmph and look away from the road. 

These systems are capable of entirely taking over the driving in some situations, like traffic jams on the highways. Further, they allow the drivers to carry out other in-car activities. These activities include making phone calls, reading, writing messages, working, or watching videos. However, the catch is that the driver should be prepared to take back control within a few seconds when required by the car in situations like roadworks.

What Senior Executives said 

BMW claims that combining all these driving assistance systems within a single vehicle represents a significant advance and offers a comprehensive set of functionalities for a more comfortable, more relaxing drive over both long and short journeys. Dr. Mihiar Ayoubi, Senior Vice President of Driving Experience BMW Group, said, “We are setting new standards in the automotive industry by combining both technologies in the new BMW 7 Series,”. He added, “In the process, we are underlining our commitment to offering our customers a safe, comfortable, and innovative driving experience.”

How Much Do They Cost?

Currently exclusive to the German market, the BMW Highway Assistant and Driving Assistant Professional are included in the optional BMW Personal Pilot L3, which costs Rs 5.35 Lakh (€6,000). Buyers who have already received their cars and bought the optional BMW Personal Pilot L3 will be able to add the BMW Highway Assistant to it for free from 08/24.

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TopGear Magazine July 2024