Self Parking for the Ultimate Driving Machine
BMW’s flagship sedan, the 7-series, is about to see a major overhaul. The current generation has been in production since 2008 and the F02 architecture is starting to test poorly against its competitors, namely the Audi A8 and the Mercedes S Class.
The all-new 7-series is due to launch in 2016. One of the major updates Bimmer’s dreadnaught will receive is a carbon fiber intensive frame that the manufacturer claims will reduce the vehicle’s weight by about 280 pounds below its previous incarnation. The bounty of upgrades doesn’t stop there, however, as BMW is stuffing their new top model with oodles of technological goodies.
For starters the new model will come equipped with rear wheel steering that will assist handling at both low and high speeds. Additionally, it will get a new drive option called “adaptive mode” that will acclimate to the driver’s preferences based on data from driving style, the navigation system, and cameras located about the vehicle’s exterior.
The questionably intuitive iDrive infotainment system has also gotten a reboot, with a far more responsive touch screen and hand gesture capability from an infrared camera located on the cabin’s roof. Programmability allows owners to add their own motions to issue commands.
Perhaps the most exciting feature is the 2016 7-series’ ability to park itself with the use of the key fob. Upon retrieving his or her vehicle, the owner can remotely start the engine allow the car to back itself out of the spot. The flagship can now also parallel and perpendicular park automatically.
BMW’s slogan is “The Ultimate Driving Machine,” and naturally it is resisting the movement towards autonomous cars. Even its lane assist features warn of vehicles in blind spots and drifting without superseding the driver’s control.
Perhaps this foray into the world of self-driving is BMW’s cession to the consumers hungry to passively enjoy their journeys. To motoring enthusiasts, the prospect of losing the freedom of driving as well as the fear of allowing machines to make decisions instead of humans is frightening Fortunately, BMW is providing an alternative that marries the convenience of technology with the joy that being the wheel brings.