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BMW Introduces Autonomous Driving System with Video and Email Capabilities

Germany will soon offer a new BMW automated driving system that allows drivers to engage in other activities such as writing emails or watching videos while on the road. The Personal Pilot system will be an optional feature in new 7 Series cars, commencing sales in December, with plans to expand into other markets following approval.

This system, named “Level 3” automated driving, permits drivers to fully disengage from focusing on the road at speeds of 37 mph or lower, as per the auto manufacturer’s recent announcement.

Under Level 3 automation, vehicles can autonomously handle all driving functions, although the driver must remain prepared to take control at any given moment, compliant with the standard established by SAE International.

The BMW system shares similarities with Mercedes-Benz’s Drive Pilot, which has received approval in Germany and is set for rollout in Nevada and California this year. However, this BMW system has not been sanctioned in these two states.

It is noteworthy that California and Nevada are the sole states permitting a Level 3 automated driving system. The BMW system will be available in German BMW 7 Series cars, excluding the i7 eDrive50 and i7 M70 xDrive, at a price of approximately $6,400. Additionally, the system’s sensors enable operation even in low-light conditions, a unique feature among Level 3 automated driving systems, according to BMW.

Drivers have the option to activate or deactivate the program, and visual and audible signals will indicate when the program needs to be turned off and the driver’s attention must return to the road.

BMW noted that the system is best suited for slow-moving traffic during a commute.

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