BMW rolls out hands-free highway driving in US, powered by HD maps from HERE

BMW has unveiled a new hands-free driving feature on highways in the United States and Canada, dubbed Driving Assist Plus, which is enabled by the use of HERE’s HD Live Maps in its cars.

The high-definition mapping system provides accurate lane-level additional information, including road geometry, route profile, and traffic signs, to further support the sensors on-board BMW’s cars, letting the vehicle know exactly where it is on the road, and what road features lie ahead.

With the new system, which will be rolling out first on the all-new 7 Series in the region and later to other models, drivers will be able to remove their hands completely from the steering wheel at speeds of up to 85 mph (137 km/h) while driving on interstates and highways.

In addition to keeping the car in the lane completely unassisted, the all-new BMW 7 Series will also come with an automatic lane-change system. However, as the system still requires the drivers to immediately take over control, the carmaker is branding it as a SAE Level 2+ automated driving system, instead of SAE Level 3 like the Mercedes-Benz EQS offers.

RELATED: New Mercedes-Benz S-Class and EQS now with Drive Pilot Level 3 automated driving in Germany

HERE’s mapping system on the all-new BMW 7 Series also features a predictive routing functionality, which learns the driver’s individual driving patterns to propose more personalised journeys. The HERE Real-Time Traffic system, offered in 70 countries worldwide, also provides detailed information on traffic congestion with lane-level precision and potential road hazards ahead, and will automatically re-route to help drivers save time.

After the initial roll-out, the companies said that the Level 2+ system will also eventually be expanded to “all types of roads” in the future, in addition to just highway driving.


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