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BMW receives approval for advanced autonomous driving


BMW receives approval to integrate a new advanced autonomous driving system alongside existing self-driving technologies in its vehicles, the German company said on Tuesday.

Combining the car maker's highway assistant (level 2) and its personal pilot (level 3) grade autonomous capacities, the new BMW 7 Series, which will initially only be available in Germany, is setting "a milestone in the field of automated driving," BMW said in a statement.

With this, BMW is following in the footsteps of competitor Mercedes-Benz, which has already brought level 3 functions, without level 2 capabilities, to German roads and parts of the United States, where there are no nationwide laws on self-driving cars.

BMW's level 2 functionality allows drivers to take their hands off the steering wheel at speeds of up to 130 kilometers per hour, as long as they pay attention to the road. It is restricted to lanes that are physically separated from oncoming traffic.

At level 3, the driver's attention can be temporarily diverted from the road. This enables secondary activities such as making phone calls, reading, writing messages, working or video streaming to be carried out at speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour, primarily to be used in traffic jams.

While other big players in autonomous driving, such as companies in China or the United States, are already testing fully self-driving robotaxis under strict conditions, Germany was the first country to create the legal basis for a nationwide introduction of self-driving cars back in 2021.

In order to drive development forward, Germany signed a declaration of intent with China in April 2024 on dialog and cooperation in the field of automated and connected driving.

The technology was "associated with the hope of safer and more efficient mobility in the future," said German Transport Minister Volker Wissing, emphasizing that it was now in a decisive development phase for bringing autonomous driving out of the laboratories and onto the road.

(Cover via CFP)

Source(s): Xinhua News Agency
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