Level 3 autonomous driving will be available in the BMW 7 Series from 2024

Discover the 2024 BMW 7 Series with Level 3 autonomous driving

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 made available in the BMW 7 Series.

The system is called BMW Personal Pilot L3 and relieves the person at the wheel of the task of driving in certain situations while controlling the car’s speed, distance to the vehicle ahead of them and lane positioning.

Designed to assume the entire task of driving with Level 3 capability as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the highly automated driving function will be offered in Germany only initially.

The innovative technology allows drivers to redirect their focus to other in vehicle activities when travelling at speeds of up to 60km/h on highways with structurally separated carriageways. Thanks to its particularly sophisticated sensors, this is the first system of its kind that can also be used in the dark.

The introduction of this Level 3 functionality in the BMW 7 Series makes the BMW Group the first carmaker to offer both advanced Level 2 driving functionality where the hands can be taken off the steering wheel and positioned comfortably as well as the latest Level 3 system.

BMW Highway Assistant currently offers a highly innovative SAE Level 2 partially automated driving function in all new 5 Series models. The package also includes a unique feature in the form of Active Lane Change Assistant with eye confirmation that is primarily designed for use on long distance journeys where it allows the driver to adapt an extremely relaxed posture behind the steering wheel. At speeds of up to 130km/h the system can take over the vehicle’s speed, the distance to the vehicle in front and the car’s steering.

The difference between Level 2 and Level 3 autonomous driving

The crucial difference between these two levels of autonomous driving is that with Level 2 autonomous driving system the responsibility lies with the driver at all times. When utilising BMW Highway Assistant, drivers need to continue to keep an eye on the road and be ready to take over the task of driving at all times. This is continuously monitored using an intelligent attentiveness camera.

BMW Personal Pilot that, which is categorised as Level 3 autonomous driving however gives drivers the option of concentrating on secondary in vehicle activities away from what is happening on the road. For example customers will be able to attend to e-mails or engage more deeply in telephone calls while travelling at up to 60km/h. Drivers can also make use of digital services for streaming of videos from various providers on the central display. This makes the BMW Personal Pilot L3 the ideal solution for making good use of time spent in slow moving traffic or gridlocked traffic during daily motorway commutes.

With both systems, including BMW Personal Pilot L3, the driver still needs to be ready to reassume the task of driving at any time, such as when the situation on the road requires them to or when the stretch of road that meets the required parameters for the system to function comes to an end. Visual and acoustic signals let the driver know when they have to take over control and if the driver does not respond the vehicle is brought to a controlled standstill.

The live HD map with precise routes is permanently aligned with extremely accurate GPS location-finding and works with 360-degree sensors to ensure exact positioning and monitoring of the area around the vehicle. In addition to cameras, vehicles specified with the BMW Personal Pilot L3 are also fitted with the latest-generation ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors and a highly sensitive 3D lidar sensor for monitoring the area around the vehicle and the situation on the road. In the BMW 7 Series this technology is underpinned by a new software stack, powerful computing platform and a 5G link up to the BMW Cloud.