BMW didn’t have a choice but to cannibalize 7 Series sales.
Those in the general loop of technological know-how are aware that Moore’s law is an observation stating that the rapid pace of progress makes it so the number of transistors on a circuit doubles every two years. At one point, engineers in the tech industry are expected to run into a wall that will halt this trend. By contrast, as BMW Blog tells us using the new 5 Series as an example, the auto industry seems as if it’s approaching a period where technological progress is speeding up rather than hitting a wall.
It used to be that range-topping luxury sedans from BMW and Mercedes were the vehicles that highlighted the latest and greatest technology. The S-Class and 7 Series were always so jam packed with special features that seven to ten years could pass by without the tech trickling down to lower models. Not so today. Things are currently moving so fast in the industry that automakers need to throw the latest features into lower trims to avoid antiquating their lineups. Mercedes started the practice with the E-Class and now BMW has followed suit with the new G30 5 Series. BMW Blog listed the top five things you should probably know about the new 5 Series’ driver aids.
The first centers around the 5er’s Park Now service, which gathers real time data about parking spaces in select German and US states and relays the information to the infotainment screen. If there’s an open spot, a driver can see it on the screen and make their way over to claim it, reducing the estimated 30% of city traffic that is on the road solely for the purpose of looking for parking. Next up is the BMW’s suite of semi-autonomous drive features, which do a good impression of Tesla’s Autopilot by following a car in front, braking to a standstill in traffic and starting up again once the flow is moving, switching lanes, and swerving out of the way if it senses an impending crash.
That mimics the technology that the 7 Series comes loaded with, but the system on the 5 Series is advanced by 18 months, or just 6 months shy of another doubling of transistor density according to Moore’s law. Now the 5 Series’ autonomous driving is all good and well, but we think the fact that it can adapt the steering, suspension, transmission shift points, and throttle response to a driver’s driving style is pretty cool. Just as cool is the Professional Navigation option that allows all of these variables to be tuned according to the data the GPS knows about the road ahead. A lot has been said about Audi’s new vehicle to infrastructure communication system, but the next step up, communication between two vehicles, is already available on the 5 Series.
Like Volvo’s vehicle to vehicle communication system installed in the new line of 90 Series vehicles, the BMW 5 Series reserves the ability to relay weather, traffic, and road hazard information to other BMWs that it passes. With features like these and the G30’s 7 Series-like styling, it may be safe to assume that the new 5 Series is better than its big brother.