The all-new BMW 7 Series was launched locally at the start of this year and has been well accepted, with a total of 292 units sold since then. One function that was excluded at the time, however, was the 007-style remote parking feature which we witnessed during the international launch. This feature has now passed all legislative requirements and is rolled out in many countries, including South Africa.
The idea of the feature is to allow owners to park their 7 Series into a narrow garage while controlling the movement remotely on the vehicle’s smartphone-like key fob. Forward and reverse buttons on the key are provided for while the steering is taken care of by the vehicle’s control systems. The width of the garage is measured by the parking sensors and cameras surrounding the vehicle and it will position itself in the centre of the available space. Safety is a priority and if any obstacle is detected the system will immediately stop the vehicle.
This feature is aimed at European buyers, who typically have to deal with narrow garages. It will probably not be needed by the affluent owner in South Africa, but there is no denying that it is the ultimate party trick to entertain esteemed guests!
BMW has also announced some updates regarding the ConnectedDrive services of the BMW range with the main change being the availability of the full ConnectedDrive store (September 2016), where BMW customers can buy applications or sign up for additional services. All functionality is linked to the SIM cards installed in all new BMWs and may include the following:
- Intelligent emergency call with automatic vehicle location in case of an accident;
- Real Time traffic Information (RTTI), which warns of traffic jams as they happen (now standard on all new BMWs);
- Automatic BMW teleservice call, where the vehicle will contact the service centre when a service is due;
- Internet service for the vehicle;
- Concierge service, where a call centre will answer any query and even send GPS locations straight to the vehicle’s satellite navigation system;
Pricing for the BMW 7 Series (standard vehicle):
BMW 730d: R1 406 500
BMW 740i: R1 379 000
BMW 740e: R1 431 500
BMW 750i: R1 807 500
BMW 750Li: R1 950 500