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How well it works – in America

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including: Marcus Effler

Sensors for autonomous functions are hidden behind the BMW i7’s powerful kidney. © Daniel Krause/BMW

BMW’s new 7 Series can drive autonomously on US highways at any speed. A clear relief for the driver – only one thing to focus on.

When it comes to autopilot, the German manufacturers are currently leading the way – at least for drivers who need it most, namely on boring stretches of the Autobahn. Option to allow the car to drive completely autonomously up to a speed of 60 km/h: Mercedes is the first and only car brand to offer Level 3 autonomous functionality to its customers. Meanwhile, you can legitimately indulge yourself in other things, like watching a movie on your tablet. BMW has something similar planned for its new 7 Series. As an intermediate step, Bayern offers level 2+. It works at any speed, but is not yet allowed in Germany. However, this type of autonomous driving is already being used on highways in the United States. There, 24auto.de also had the opportunity to test drive the BMW i7.

First, the driver must activate cruise control with distance radar and automatic lane keeping. If the vehicle recognizes a suitable lane for autonomous driving, it indicates its readiness. With a further click on the steering wheel, the driver activates the autopilot. Then he can go “hands off,” meaning take his hands off the steering wheel. Unlike usual, the warning tone does not sound after a few seconds to remind you to take the wheel again. To overtake, tap the turn signal lever. The system works fluidly and smoothly. However, the driver should keep one thing in mind: he should not be distracted by other things. “Ice Off” does not work with level 2+ as it allows level 3.

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