BMW to implement L3 automated driving in March

  • January 22, 2024
  • Steve Rogerson

BMW’s latest 7 Series will implement level-three automated driving in Germany, starting March 2024.

Known as the Personal Pilot, it will use the Here HD Live Map to provide information about the car’s environment and its route ahead.

Location data firm Here Technologies said this marked a milestone in the companies’ longstanding collaboration on high-definition mapping for driving assistance and automated vehicle systems.

Personal Pilot lets drivers take their hands off the wheel and eyes off the road under certain conditions. Drivers can use the extra time to work, chat or even use entertainment features such as video streaming while the function is activated.

The Here HD Live Map provides safety-enhancing data to the vehicle for tasks such as localisation, prediction and path planning, working with various vehicle sensors. It extends the functions capabilities to see and plan in scenarios where vehicle sensors alone might fall short, enhancing overall situational awareness by delivering precise information about the road network’s features and local rules in advance.

BMW also uses Here HD map data to define the operational design domain, which lets the vehicle know when and where the Personal Pilot function can be activated.

“The Here HD Live Map plays a central role for our BMW Personal Pilot level-three functionality,” said Nicolai Martin, senior vice president at BMW. “It acts as the primary input source to create the car’s driving path, providing critical information about attributes such as geometry, lane positioning and predicting road traffic signs in time. With the BMW Personal Pilot, the car drives itself on-map, with the car’s sensors acting as an extra layer sharing the safety load with the map.”

Jason Jameson, executive vice president at Here Technologies, added: “We are proud to support our partner BMW in bringing the next level of vehicle automation to customers. The integration of the Here HD Live Map with BMW’s Personal Pilot function marks a significant achievement, underlining the pivotal role high-definition maps play in the future of automated driving.”

The map contains three layers:

  • Road model provides detailed road characteristics, such as topology, direction of travel, elevation, slope, road rules, boundaries, tunnels and intersections.
  • HD lane model contains precise lane-level information, such as locations of lane lines, widths, markings, boundaries, access characteristics, stop areas, raised surfaces and speed limits.
  • Localisation layer classifies roadside furniture, such as signs, barriers, poles, signals, road surface marking, places of interest and overhead structures.

The map is based on UniMap (, Here’s map-making capability, which features the ability to fuse large quantities of data rapidly from diverse sources, including vehicle cameras, industrial lidar and satellites, into a fully aligned and unified global map.

The Personal Pilot ( is one of the first commercially available level-three automated driving functions. Starting in March 2024, it will first be available in the BMW 7 Series to be used on motorways in Germany. When activated, the system will allow a vehicle to drive itself in conditionally automated mode at a maximum speed of 60km/h in heavy traffic.