We have extensively covered BMW’s Level 3 self-driving system in recent months, and we’ve also had the opportunity to test it back in July. It’s finally coming to the 7 Series in Germany where customers will be able to order the technology from December, with deliveries planned for March 2024. However, it’s not going to be offered on all variants of the fullsize luxury sedan as in the initial phase, the i7 eDrive50 and i7 M70 xDrive won’t have it. That’s despite the fact these images show the electric M Performance version.
As reported way back in June 2022, it goes by the name of BMW Personal Pilot and is a true Level 3 system as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Ordering a G70 7 Series with the self-driving setup is going to set you back an extra €6,000 in Deutschland. It enables hands-free driving but only on highways with “structurally separated carriageways.” BMW says this is the first system of its kind that works in the dark courtesy of highly advanced sensors.
Speaking of the newly added hardware, you’ll be able to tell which 7 Series has the BMW Personal Pilot L3 and which doesn’t. The vertical slats of the imposingly large kidney grille have been chopped off to make room for the new sensors. Activated and deactivated by simply pressing a button on the steering wheel, the system works at speeds of up to 37 mph (60 km/h). When it’s on, you’ll be allowed to stream videos on the infotainment screen to make your commute more bearable.
To make it all work harmoniously, the 7 Series is fitted with a new generation of ultrasonic sensors and radar sensors along with highly advanced cameras. In addition, BMW installs a LIDAR sensor to accurately monitor the vehicle’s surroundings. When the driver is asked to take control of the car again, they will be informed through visual and acoustic signals. Should the driver ignore those alerts, the car will gradually come to a halt.
The launch of the BMW Personal Pilot L3 comes only a few months after the new 5 Series received the BMW Highway Assistant (SAE Level 2) allowing drivers to change lanes by simply looking in the side mirror.