Drivers of the new BMW can drive on the German highway without hands on the steering wheel


BMW Group is the first car manufacturer in Germany to offer a system for partially automated driving with speeds of up to 130 km/h. The Federal Motor Transport Authority, Kraftfahrtbundesamt (KBA), has granted BMW Group the necessary exemptions. This means that customers will soon be able to use the new Highway Assistant from BMW in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan. This assistant allows them to take their hands off the steering wheel and place them in a comfortable position during the drive. The latest version of the Highway Assistant will also feature a global innovation: the Active Lane Change Assistant with gaze confirmation.

The BMW 5 Series is at the forefront of technology

With its decisions, the KBA confirms the safe and reliable functionality of the highway assistant and the active lane change assistant in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan. The BMW Highway Assistant, which takes over tasks related to steering in addition to speed and distance control up to a speed of 130 km/h, is already available in the United States and Canada. It is already offered, among others, in the luxury BMW 7 Series Sedan. In Germany, the new BMW 5 Series Sedan will be the first vehicle to offer an exceptionally immersive experience of semi-automatic driving.

The new Highway Assistant from BMW allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel for extended periods of time on suitable roads (availability is displayed on the instrument panel) at speeds up to 130 km/h. However, they must carefully monitor traffic and be constantly ready to take control again. The driver’s attention is continuously monitored by an intelligent camera.


Photo by BMW I5 drive 40 

Autopilot can also change lanes

During semi-automatic driving, the new BMW 5 Series Sedan can change lanes without the driver having to put their hands back on the steering wheel. This is made possible by the active lane change assistant, which operates at speeds ranging from 60 to 180 km/h. The system automatically suggests lane changes, and the driver can confirm them with a targeted glance at the corresponding side mirror.

The combination of the new highway assistant and the active lane change assistant offers a globally unique level of interaction between humans and the vehicle in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan. It is the result of combining new software, powerful computing platform, and high-speed 5G connectivity with the BMW cloud.

In addition, cameras, as well as the latest generation of ultrasonic and radar sensors, play a crucial role. A “live” HD map with precise trajectory routes, constantly synchronized with accurate GPS localization, and 360° sensor technology ensure precise positioning and monitoring of the surrounding environment. Regular over-the-air software updates ensure that both the functional software and HD map are always up to date.


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