Tesla has pushed out an over the air Autopilot update to Model S vehicles. Model S sedans built after 2104 have been equipped with the necessary hardware for self steering but it hasn't been active, till now. The new features now enabled on the Tesla Model S are exactly the same as what comes on the 2016 BMW G12 7 Series. Is Tesla feeling the pressure from BMW?
While BMW's nomenclature lacks the Elon Musk 'Autopilot' flair the features are a 1:1 match. Both cars sense road marking and assist in keeping the vehicle between the lines. As I experienced on my test drive the 7 series lets you take your hands off the wheel for up to 15 seconds while cruising down the road at up to 130 mph. If someone pulls out in front of you the 7 Series slows and dutifully follows along. On wide open roads the feature does show some limitation, but in stop and go traffic it would be a sanity saver.
Side by side: Tesla Model S vs. BMW 7 Series - Which would you choose?
More about the BMW 7 Series Active Driving Assistant
A stereo camera and front and side radar sensors to detect lane markings, preceding vehicles or approaching side or rear traffic. At speeds up to 130 mph they provide comfort-enhancing steering assistance to help drivers stay in lane or follow the preceding vehicle. The various systems can also help prevent collisions with approaching side or rear traffic during a lane change. The Traffic Jam assistant also ensures more relaxed, stress free driving in stop-go traffic. This semi-automated driving function provides comfort enhancing steering assistance whenever the driver has at least one hand on the steering wheel.
Read more about the BMW 7 Series
How the BMW 7 Series Parking Assistant works
New generation BMW Parking Assistant The new version of the optional Parking Assistant makes light work of selecting and maneuvering not just into parallel parking spaces but now also into perpendicular parking spots. It controls the entire maneuver into the parking space, including all the necessary steering, gear-shifting, acceleration and braking operations. Active Park Distance Control also assists the driver during manual reversing maneuvers. If needed, this feature autonomously brakes the vehicle helping prevent collisions with obstacles to the rear of the vehicle.