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Home » BMW Plan Bringing Level 2+ autonomous driving to the UK in 2024

BMW Plan Bringing Level 2+ autonomous driving to the UK in 2024


BMW has announced that starting in 2024, hands-free driving assistance will be available in multiple models in the UK, taking advantage of new regulations that allow drivers to remove their hands from the steering wheel momentarily.

According to Matt Bacon, Head of Product for BMW’s larger vehicle lines in the UK, the upcoming 5 Series sedan, including the electric i5, along with the electric i7 sedan and iX SUV will offer this capability. Known as Level 2+ autonomous driving, it allows drivers to let go of the steering wheel while remaining attentive to the road.

In the US, BMW calls its system Highway Assistant. Bacon mentioned BMW is looking to rebrand it as Motorway Assistant for the UK, BMW China team hits L3 autonomous driving in China, hands-free functionality is part of the Driving Assistant Professional package, available in the Tech Pack Plus option for the new 5 Series, includes adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and more advanced driver aids.

bmw i5

BMW is still deciding whether to offer Motorway Assistant as a one-time charge at purchase or as a monthly subscription service.

BMW mapping out which specific roads the system can be used on. Bacon stated that two-way roads with a central barrier are a minimum requirement. When drivers enter an approved road, they will get a reminder that hands-free driving is available.

To monitor driver attention, BMW will use a camera placed in front of the driver, vehicle’s Active Lane Change Assistant allows hands-free lane changes, will suggest a lane change and the driver simply needs to check their mirrors before confirming.

Hands-free driving has faced some criticism over safety concerns and the potential for abuse. BMW stresses that while hands can be briefly removed from the wheel, the driver must remain fully attentive to driving conditions. The attention monitoring system aims to ensure responsible use of the feature.

Drivers in the UK eager to experience hands-free driving will soon have the opportunity with BMW leading the charge, represents an early step towards more advanced autonomous driving tech hitting the mainstream, BMW emphasizes that human attentiveness remains essential, despite the “hands-free” moniker.