The ultimate self-driving machine is coming soon as BMW has announced the new 7 Series G70 will get a Level 3 self-driving system later this year. Speaking in Las Vegas at CES 2023 where the i Vision Dee concept was unveiled, Chief Technology Officer Frank Weber said the functionality will be added to the company’s flagship model in 2023. He went on to mention it’s a “real Level 3; the vehicle is in charge, not the driver.” Initially, the maximum speed at which the system is going to work will be electronically capped, but it will get higher and higher with time.
In an interview with CarBuzz, Frank Weber explained why the system will be launched with the 7er: “Level 3 functions are still expensive because the car’s sensor system setup [and] backup energy solutions make things very expensive in relation to what you can do with Level 3 at the moment. As a result, this technology will launch on the ultra-luxurious 7 Series before any other model.”
The BMW CTO went on to specify a “more affordable Level 3 will come over the decade,” suggesting the technology will trickle down to lesser models in the years to come. It should be mentioned the 7 Series won’t be available with this sophisticated self-driving system all over the world since the necessary legislation has yet to be finalized. For example, the functionality will be offered in Europe but not in the United States where the necessary regulations have yet to catch up with the advancement of tech.
It is believed BMW’s system will be called “Personal Pilot” and will be available near the end of the year on the G70 sold in Europe and China. The next-generation 5 Series Sedan (G60) launching this summer is rumored to receive the functionality later in 2024 when the 5 Series Touring (G61) will also be around. As a refresher, the next 5er will also spawn a fully electric i5 expected to come in both body styles, joined by the return of the M5 Touring.
It should be mentioned archrival Mercedes has already received certification for a Level 3 autonomous driving system in Europe for the S-Class and the fully electric EQS.