BMW 7 Series' new iDrive System wizardry
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Bavarian Wizardry

The new BMW 7 Series effortlessly merges technology with luxury. It has enough features to put a ‘Bond’ car to shame.

While my colleague and I were reviewing the brand new BMW 7 Series, it took us an entire day just to get our heads around the insane amount of high-tech gadgetry that this car has to offer. The 7 Series is BMW’s flagship, and it features a great deal of innovations – the likes of which we’ve never seen before on a production car.

Luxury and technology go hand-in-hand, and to complement the ultra-luxurious cabin of the new 7 series there are some very impressive and futuristic appliances. There are, of course, plenty of instrumentation devices and controls for the driver, but there are even more impressive applications available for rear seat passengers who wish to travel in style and comfort.

When you step inside and settle yourself in the driver’s seat, you’re greeted by a fully digital instrument cluster and the iDrive 6.0 system. The iDrive system can now also be operated by touchscreen, through which you can use to control everything from ambient lighting, suspension and steering settings to simply selecting different driving modes. But if you feel that a touch screen is a little too ‘old-school,’ you can also try using Gesture Controls. A camera and sensor can figure out your hand movements and be assigned to control different functions in the car. For example, you can twirl your finger clockwise to increase sound volume, or counter clockwise to lower it. There are a few preset functions, and one that you can configure yourself. And if you feel that moving your hands is too much work, you can simply opt for voice commands. The centre console, meanwhile, also gets a storage compartment that features a wireless charging facility for your phone.

The driver and rear passengers also get massaging seats, so if you ever feel stressed and need to relax on the go you have your very own personal masseuse to look after you. Rear seat passengers can also use the Touch Command system to control certain settings in the car. There’s a 7-inch tablet placed in the rear armrest, which passengers can use to control almost anything except for the driving configurations.

The most impressive feature, though, which I’ve ever experienced in a production car until now is the Park Assist system. The 7 Series features autonomous technology, which enables the car to park on its own. This is especially useful for parallel parking in tight spots. With just a few settings and the touch of a button, we sat back and witnessed the car park perfectly on its own. It also gets a Display Key that has its own little touch screen system. With this display key, you can check on your car and monitor it, and you can also use it to park the car – just like a remote control. We tested this feature out more than a couple of times, because it was just incredible to watch.

On top of all that, the new 7 Series also gets a steering and lane control assistant, lane keeping assistant with active side collision protection, rear collision prevention and crossing traffic warning functions. These have been added to the other numerous safety functions that are a part of the Driving Assistant Plus system. The 7 Series also gets Laser Lights, which are also found on the i8. The laser headlights generate pure white light and provide a high-beam range of 600 metres – which is double the range of LED headlights.

All these features really make the new 7 Series one of the most technologically advanced luxury sedans on the planet.

 

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