BMW’s ultimate self-driving machine will just have to wait as a new report states a Level 3-certified system won’t be available until near the end of 2023. It’s apparently going to be called “Personal Pilot” and will be initially rolled out on the 7 Series / i7 G70 in Europe and China. Beginning July 2024, the technology will be implemented in the G6x models: G60 5 Series Sedan, G61 5 Series Touring, G68 5 Series Sedan Long Wheelbase, G65 X5 / iX5, G66 X6 / iX6, and the G67 X7 / iX7.
The yet-to-be-confirmed tidbit comes to us via well-known BMW insider ynguldyn from the Bimmer Post forums. He goes on to say there are no details about Personal Pilot being available in the United States, which isn’t all too surprising since the necessary legislation has yet to be developed in North America.
Mercedes has managed to beat BMW to the Level 3 autonomy punch since it started sales of the fully electric EQS with this system more earlier this year in Germany. The Drive Pilot is also available for the conventionally powered S-Class luxury sedan, with more models to follow.
In April 2021, Dr. Nicolai Martin, Senior Vice President Automated Driving Development BMW Group, said the company won’t offer a Level 3 system until it’s going to be “absolutely safe .” A couple of months later, Frank Weber, BMW’s R&D boss, said the self-driving system will initially work only on highways, which makes sense since the scenarios are significantly more predictable.
At the end of 2021, BMW announced plans to join forces with Stellantis to work on a Level 3-certified autonomous driving system. The tech will get better with time even after purchasing the vehicle courtesy of over-the-air updates.
There’s no word just yet about the iX getting Drive Pilot, although the same source previously reported the electric SUV would get a Motorway Assistant from March 2023. It’s unclear whether the reports were referring to the same feature, but we do know from BMW the model codenamed i20 has been developed with full Level 3 capabilities in mind.
Source: Bimmer Post