BMW officially introduced the next-generation of its flagship 7 series sedan on Wednesday. The new sedan host technologies including gesture control and self-parking.
Gesture control allows the driver to use hand signals to control things like the radios volume or answer telephone calls. The self-parking feature meanwhile allows the driver to exit the vehicle and use its smart key to tell the car to park itself.
MUNICH— BMW AG unveiled its new top-of-the-line 7-series sedan, a luxury car packed with electronic wizardry like remote-control parking that demonstrates how computing power is challenging horsepower for buyer loyalty.
The latest 7-Series, due to land in showrooms in October, arrives as the car industry faces a historic transformation. Tough restrictions on emissions are forcing car makers to reduce weight and develop electric and hybrid vehicles. Traditional car manufacturers, which have ruled the industry for more than a century, face new competition from startups like Tesla Motors Inc.
And Silicon Valley technology startups including Apple Inc. and Google Inc. are edging in to the business, threatening to usurp profits from car-generated data and potentially bringing their own driverless technology and cars to market.
The challenge for Germany’s three premium brand manufacturers—BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz—is to maintain their technology lead even as the race shifts away from the gearbox to information technology. The 7-series is the BMW’s clearest statement yet of how it sees the future of driving.
This remote parking feature is just the beginning of what’s coming down the road. German automotive supplier Bosch GmbH has developed a valet parking system that will enable a car not only to slip into a parking space but actually drive around the parking garage and find a space and later come and pick up the driver. Daimler AG, which owns rival Mercedes-Benz, this week said it has formed a pilot project with Bosch to develop the valet parking system.