Your new BMW may be banned from track days
Just when you thought you can go rip around the track with your new BMW, you may have to end up settling for being a spectator.
According to a release from Genesee Valley Chapter of the BMWCCA, cars with collision avoidance systems have been banned from their track days. It turns out systems like 'automatic emergency braking' and/or 'lane keeping assist,' or their equivalents, can cause cars to perform unpredictably in racetrack situations. The Genesee Valley Chapter has banned vehicles with these systems, even if they can be disabled by the driver.
This is definitely bad news for for the future. Going by the comments on the original article, other chapters have followed suit. Will more chapters jump on the band wagon? Many new BMW's have these features as standard, but according to BMW, all are expected to have these systems in place by 2022.
Here's the release from GVC:
Attention Genesee Valley Chapter HPDE Participants -
As you know, the automotive world is rapidly deploying a variety of safety-related driver aids, and we are heading toward a brave new world of semi- and fully autonomous vehicles. This will undoubtedly be of great benefit to traffic safety, especially given the rise in accident rates attributed to smartphone use. However, some of these new driver aids may adversely impact the use of such vehicles on a racetrack. In particular, cars with "automatic emergency braking" and/or "lane keeping assistance" systems may behave in unpredictable and undesirable ways on a racetrack.
Because there is so much uncertainty about how these systems behave in a variety of conditions, GVC have decided to ban all vehicles equipped with Automatic Emergency Braking and/or Lane Keeping Assistance systems (or their equivalent) for use in our HPDE events, even if these systems may be disabled by the driver.
Please consult your local new car dealership for assistance if you are unsure whether your vehicle is equipped with these collision avoidance systems. If your vehicle is so equipped, your only course of action will be to find another vehicle without said systems to use at the event. Please let us know if you will be driving a different car than the one you chose during registration so we can update your registration profile.
Note: GVC will deny participation, and forfeit the entry fees, of anyone arriving at our events intending to use a car equipped with these systems in the driving school.
The Genesee Valley BMW Car Club of America (BMW CCA) Chapter created and published an unauthorized policy banning BMW's with Driver Aids from participating in High Performance Driver Education (HPDEs). The national BMW CCA office does not share their opinion and is discussing the issue with the chapter.
BMW of North America is working closely with the national BMW CCA office to educate and develop a nationwide procedure for including BMWs with Driver Aids in HPDEs. Most advanced driver aids like Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot detection do not affect the ability of the driver to control the car on-track at high speed. In addition the systems can be shut off so that they are also not a distraction to a student.
Systems like Automatic Emergency Braking Assist may be intrusive on-track but can be completely shut off by pressing and holding the Driver's Aids button on the center dash until the green light goes out. The system defaults to "ON" upon a re-start so this switch should be pressed at the beginning of each on-track run. The Driver's Aids Button also shuts down all the other driver aids that the car may be equipped with.
As further proof of how much energy the BMW name creates, the Interwebs have been buzzing with concern around whether the BMW CCA and its chapters have banned BMWs with certain safety features from our high-performance driving schools. Regardless of what various media outlets have extrapolated, please rest confidently assured that the BMW CCA has no such BMW vehicle ban.
While advancements in safety features are certainly issues to consider as driving schools continue to evolve with technological advancements, the BMW CCA continues to work with BMW of North America to educate and develop a nationwide procedure for including BMWs with drivers' aids in our schools.
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