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BMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Driving In the 7 Series

Even though we’re far off Level 5 autonomous driving, Level 4 is edging closer to series production. BMW demonstrated the technology in the 7 Series, a prototype which can be summoned through a smartphone app. As if that wasn’t enough, the full-size luxury sedan can “chauffeur” whoever gets in the car to the location of their liking.
BMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Technology In the 7 Series 9 photos
BMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Technology In the 7 SeriesBMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Technology In the 7 SeriesBMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Technology In the 7 SeriesBMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Technology In the 7 SeriesBMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Technology In the 7 SeriesBMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Technology In the 7 SeriesBMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Technology In the 7 SeriesBMW Demonstrates Level 4 Autonomous Technology In the 7 Series
In addition to the smartphone app, rear passengers can interact with the car through a tablet. Of course, Level 4 autonomous driving can only happen once the passengers have fastened their seatbelts. As if that wasn’t enough, the tablet also doubles as the interface for the infotainment system.

“To ensure safe driving in urban settings, the BMW Group is investing heavily in the development of environment recognition technology with machine learning capabilities.” What that means in basic English is that sensors and software are of utmost importance going forward, along with cloud-based services and ultra-fast connectivity to the Internet.

Level 4 is described as fully automated driving, and funnily enough, Level 5 enables complete automation. The difference between 4 and 5 is simple. In the former’s case, the driver must remain able to drive. At the highest point of the spectrum, the vehicle assumes all driving functions and the people in the vehicle are nothing more than passengers.

For the time being, Level 2 driver assistance will have to suffice. GPS sensors and map data are utilized by the 7 Series to adjust the speed for cornering and driving through built-up areas. At the #NEXTGen event in Munich, BMW confirmed that the next level of automation involves machine learning and even more sensors to detect speed limit signs and interpret traffic lights.

BMW has been testing Level 3 vehicles on the A9 Autobahn in Germany since 2011, but back in 2006, a 3 Series drove the ideal line on the Hockenheim Ring all by itself. Fast-forward to the Consumer Electronics Show of 2017, and the 5 Series was demonstrated with Level 3 technology.

The latest development in this domain for BMW is the Autonomous Driving Campus, a facility in Unterschleissheim where much of the research & development is done. Come 2021, the BMW iNext will feature Level 3 autonomous driving functions.

 
 
 
 
 

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