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Would You Watch TV from behind the Wheel of BMW’s Level 3 7-Series?

a man driving a 2024 bmw 7series interior level 3
BMW’s Level 3 System Will Let Drivers Watch TVTom Kirkpatrick
  • BMW will introduce SAE Level 3 system in the BMW 7-Series (but not the all-electric i7) in the spring of 2024 in Germany, allowing eyes-off, hands-off operation at speeds of up to 37 mph.

  • The Level 3 system, dubbed BMW Personal Pilot L3, is distinct from the BMW Highway Assistant, which is a Level 2 system and requires the driver to remain alert at all times.

  • The Level 3 system won't be offered in the US, at least not at first, as BMW would have to obtain regulatory permission from 50-plus jurisdictions.


BMW will follow in the footsteps of other automakers by introducing an SAE Level 3 semi-autonomous system in its flagship sedan, but not its electric i7 sibling. The first cars fitted with the necessary hardware and software will be delivered to buyers in Germany this spring, giving drivers eyes-off, hands-off driving flexibility.

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Dubbed BMW Personal Pilot L3, the system will allow drivers to read or text while the system is in use, or even use the central infotainment screen as a TV.

"They can also use digital services for e.g. streaming videos from various providers on the central display during a journey," BMW promises.

Watching TV on the morning commute is close to the holy grail of driver-assist systems, even though Level 3 systems have their own limitations. But it's still a big step up from Level 2 in most respects, one that should make people think long and hard about the actual utility of Level 2 driver-assist systems.

BMW Personal Pilot L3 should not be confused with the BMW Highway Assistant, which is a Level 2 system that requires drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel, with a driver monitoring system keeping track of driver attention.

But there will be some limitations.