BMW’s work in the autonomous driving field is starting to pay off. The Bavarians announced today the introduction of the new Urban Cruise Control system which is an evolution of the previous technology. The new system recognizes traffic lights around town when is turned on and will be available in numerous BMW models starting this fall.

For starters, the Urban Cruise Control system will be available together with the optional Driving Assistant Professional on the BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series, the BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo, the BMW 8 Series and the BMW X5, BMW X6, BMW X7, BMW M5, BMW M8, BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M model series. The new function basically improves on the current Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go function by recognizing traffic lights.

In the case of traffic light signals that are clearly related to the lane you are driving on, these are automatically registered by the speed and distance control system. If the traffic light is red, the system decelerates the vehicle to a standstill. A green light signals the continuation of the journey. In a more complex intersection situation where, for example, different light signals apply to different lanes, a traffic light symbol is displayed in the instrument cluster.

The driver can then confirm the light signal shown there and continue to use the automatic speed and distance control or control the speed himself. For additional comfort in city traffic there is a drive reminder function. While stationary at a traffic light, the current traffic light phase is displayed in the instrument cluster; at the beginning of the green phase, the driver also receives a signal to start driving.

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The Urban Cruise Control function can also be integrated into the car at a later date by means of a Remote Software Upgrade. With the exception of the BMW 8 Series models, this option is available for vehicles of all the above-mentioned series produced from July 2020 onwards and which are equipped with the Driving Assistant Professional.