BMW is set to add its Level 3 autonomous driving system, named ‘Personal Pilot L3,’ in the upcoming 7 Series. German drivers will be the first to be able to use this technology, slated for launch in March 2024.
The ‘Personal Pilot L3’ allows drivers to legally disengage from the steering wheel and divert their attention within the cabin. To ensure the safe integration of this technology, BMW has implemented several conditions, much like Mercedes-Benz and their Drive Pilot system. The vehicles will be restricted to a maximum speed of 37 mph (60km/h), the system will only engage on separated highways.
According to the German automaker Personal Pilot combines an array of sensors, including LiDAR and radar, a live high-definition map, ‘extremely accurate’ GPS, and 5G connectivity.
The transition from Level 2 to Level 3 autonomy signifies a shift in liability. At Level 2 the driver retains full control and responsibility, albeit with the option to take hands and feet off the wheel and pedals. Level 3, however, allows drivers to engage in activities like watching movies or taking calls while the car operates autonomously. The system prompts the driver to intervene when necessary, and failure to do so results in the car autonomously guiding itself to a safe stop.
The ‘Personal Pilot L3’ feature will be available to German BMW 7 Series customers for €6,000 (C$8,800/US$6,400), in conjunction with Connected Drive services. However, it won’t be an option for those opting for the i7 eDrive 50 or the i7 M70 xDrive.