If you’re a self-confessed lazy driver and find manual steering too much of a hassle, then BMW’s latest car is for you.
The German automaker’s all-electric 5-series sedan lets you change lanes just by looking in your side mirror.
The car – which starts at £49,850 – is fitted with cameras behind the wheel that monitor the driver’s gaze.
When the vehicle suggests a lane change, for example when the vehicle in front is moving too slowly, the driver can confirm this by looking in the wing mirror.
Upon receipt of this confirmation signal, the vehicle automatically takes over the necessary steering movements and changes lanes.
The new BMW 5 Series includes a feature called ‘Active Lane Change Assistant’ that tracks the driver’s eye movements
BMW says the 5 Series Limousine’s “world first,” called Active Lane Change Assistant, “partially automates the driving experience” and creates the conditions for “excellent functionality.”
BMW 5 Series saloon
Current: Fully electric
Length: 16 feet
Gear: 0-100 km/h in 3.3 to 7.9 seconds
Availability: October 2023
Price: Starts at £49,850
“This comfort feature now reaches a new level of interaction between the driver and the vehicle,” the company said in a statement.
“The vehicle suggests a lane change and this can be done for the first time by looking in the wing mirror to confirm the lane change.
‘The Active Lane Change Assistant automatically takes over the necessary steering movements, if the traffic situation allows it.’
Active Lane Change Assistant is optional, so can be turned on and off and only works at speeds up to 85 miles per hour.
The technology provides a visual warning on the screen behind the wheel when it suggests a lane change, and the driver can decide whether or not to accept this by looking in the mirror.
While the new technology represents an impressive step forward for automated cruising, drivers may have safety concerns when handing such a capability over to a machine.
It’s unclear what happens if the driver wants to glance in their wing mirror but doesn’t agree with the AI’s suggestion to change lanes when the feature is on.
MailOnline has contacted BMW for more information.
BMW says: ‘The Active Lane Change Assistant automatically takes over the necessary steering movements if the traffic situation allows it’
The car comes with two displays for drivers – a 12.3-inch information display with statistics such as speeds and battery charge and a 14.9-inch Control Display
At speeds below 85 miles per hour, drivers can also take their hands off the wheel as long as they “keep a close eye on traffic.”
Aside from the Active Lane Change Assistant, BMW boasted a number of “digital innovations” in the new car, due for release in October.
BMW said the new car’s “cockpit” has a reduced number of buttons and controls, achieved through “consistently digitizing functions,” while the steering wheel has been redesigned with haptic feedback on the control panels.
Haptics provide tactile sensations such as vibrations when users apply pressure with their finger, much like a video game controller.
The 5 Series Limousine comes with two driver displays: a 12.3-inch information display with statistics such as speeds and battery charge, and a 14.9-inch Control Display.
In addition to providing route maps, the Control Display enables video streaming and gaming for passengers when the vehicle is stationary.
Using the Control Display for entertainment purposes allows passengers to “bridge waiting times” while charging the car’s battery, according to BMW.
Meanwhile, automated parking and maneuvering can be controlled up to 200 meters inside the vehicle or with a smartphone outside the vehicle.
The 5 Series Saloon also has a ‘sporty elegance and presence’ and a ‘fully vegan interior’, meaning it is upholstered without the use of leather.
According to BMW, the market launch of the new BMW 5 Series Sedan will begin in October 2023
BMW says the ‘world first’ called Active Lane Change Assistant ‘partially automates the driving experience’ and creates the conditions for ‘excellent functionality’
All in all, it offers “ideal conditions for enjoying the typical BMW driving pleasure in everyday traffic and a high level of comfort over long distances,” the automaker said in a statement.
Spacious space, modern functionality, high acoustic comfort and high-quality, precisely processed materials, fine craftsmanship and advanced digital services characterize the atmosphere in the interior.
BMW has been behind a range of interesting vehicle technology over the past few years, although not everything will make it to market.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, the company recruited Arnold Schwarzenegger to unveil a color-changing car, the BMW i Vision Dee.
The electric car sports sedan uses electronic ink to transition between 32 colors, including purple, pink, yellow, white and red
The electric car sports sedan uses electronic ink to transition between 32 colors, including purple, pink, yellow, white and red.
BMW told MailOnline that the car is just a prototype and a “vision of the distant future” – and that it would not market it.
Meanwhile, the new all-electric BMW i7 has 5G connectivitymood lighting inside and a super-wide ‘theatre screen’ in the back.
The 8K display, which measures 32 x 9 inches, flips out of the sunroof at the touch of a button and streams video from Netflix, YouTube and more.
BMW sparks controversy over £15/month heated seat subscription
BMW sparked controversy in 2022 when it introduced a heated seat subscription.
BMW’s service charges £15 per month to enable heated front seats, as well as an additional £10 per month to enable the heated steering wheel.
One Twitter user commented, “It’s like buying a laptop with a built-in camera and having to pay the PC company every month to use that camera.”
The service charges drivers £15/month to enable heated front seats, and an additional £10/month to enable the heated steering wheel
Another added: “BMW started selling subscriptions for heated seats in their luxury models. I don’t care how rich you are, you’re an idiot if you go along with this.’
Mercedes did something similar, introducing a $1,200 (£990) annual subscription to unlock enhanced performance in its cars.