The BMW Group has announced BMW Personal Pilot L3, an automated driving system that will soon be available in the new 7 Series.

When activated, the new function will allow the vehicle to gain control of the driving task in certain situations while independently monitoring speed, distance to the vehicle ahead, and lane positioning. Here, the BMW Personal Pilot L3 will allow drivers to focus on other in-vehicle activities (such as e-mails, telephone calls, or engaging with digital video streaming services) when travelling at up to 37 mph (60 km/h) on motorways with structurally separated carriageways. The OEM confirmed that it will be available to order for the new 7 Series (excluding the i7 eDrive50 and i7 M70 xDrive) from December to be fitted in vehicles from next March. The function will launch exclusively in Germany and be priced at €6,000 ($6,407 / £5,234).

As the user drives on a motorway compatible with BMW Personal Pilot L3, symbols appear on the display behind the steering wheel that indicate its availability. The user can then activate and deactivate the system using a button on the steering wheel, though must be ready to take back control of the driving task at any time – either as soon as the situation on the road requires them to or if the stretch of road suitable for using the function comes to an end. Visual and auditory signals let the driver know they must take over control in this manner, with the vehicle brought to a standstill if they do not respond.

During its automated driving operations, the function leverages a live HD map with precise routes that is permanently aligned with accurate GPS location-finding and works with 360° sensors to ensure exact positioning and monitoring of the area around the vehicle. In the new BMW 7 Series, the BMW Personal Pilot L3 is underpinned by a new software stack, a powerful computing platform and a 5G link-up to the BMW Cloud. In addition to a series of cameras, vehicles specified with it are also fitted with ultrasonic sensors, radar sensors, and a sensitive 3D LiDAR sensor for monitoring the area around the vehicle, and the situation on the road ahead.