Sitting back and letting the car take control feels a lot more natural in the 7 Series than the nimbler 3 Series.
We've just returned from a first drive in the BMW 7 Series and i7, and as expected, the flagship sedans are chock-full of all the best technologies currently available from the automaker. That includes the 31-inch theater screen for rear-seat passengers and an available 36-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System, which just may be our new favorite sound system on the market. But what also impressed us is the new driver-assistance technologies in the 2023 BMW 7 Series, which can enable hands-free driving at up to 80 mph in the United States and Canada. There are many more features than this, though, and it's HERE Technologies that is to thank for the Level 2+ capabilities of the new sedan.
HERE is a leading location and data technology platform, and also one of the first companies in the world to offer high-definition maps for Level 2+ automated driving. Real-time traffic information and predictive routing also form part of what is a long-term collaboration between BMW and HERE.
The new 7 Series and i7 are two of the quietest cars on the road, and cruising along at 80 mph on interstates and highways thanks to HERE's capabilities make the experience especially serene.
The HERE HD Live Map "consists of rich, highly accurate and fresh layers of data to support the vehicle in knowing exactly where it is on the road, and what road features lie ahead." Using this, the BMW can adjust its behavior proactively.
Additionally, the 7 Series is the first vehicle with HERE's predictive routing. This cloud-based routing function can learn driving patterns unique to the car's driver and suggest more personalized journeys. Combined with information on upcoming road hazards, traffic congestion alerts, and auto re-routing, getting to your destination in a BMW has never been more effortless.
"A digital HD map is essential for highly automated driving," said Dr. Nicolai Martin, Senior Vice President of Development Automated Driving at BMW Group. "We have been working with HERE for many years to bring highly automated driving to market, and we are now thrilled to see the result of our collaboration finally come to life."
BMW joins several other automakers in implementing technologies from HERE. Last year, Mercedes-Benz introduced HERE's HD Live Map for its Drive Pilot system in the S-Class, the chief rival for the 7 Series. The new Lotus Eletre electric SUV also uses navigation services from HERE.
Although BMW's flagship sedan has often been lauded for its ability to entertain the driver, it's the sheer comfort and refinement of the car that blew us away. This was especially the case in the silent i7, and with some of the best driver-assistance features in the business from HERE, it's a formidable package for cross-country trips and one that we prefer to the electric EQS.