Due on sale in late October, the new BMW 7-Series(with Car DVD) is one of the most technologically advanced cars to ever make the leap from concept dreams to reality.
This is a car that can park itself while the driver stands outside, and one that has a tablet for backseat passengers to control every aspect of the interior, including the lights, sounds, and even how it smells.
Clearly the headline-grabber here, the new 7-Series can park itself when no one is in it. All you have to do is point the car roughly into the entrance of a space or garage, get out, then press the key fob and the car will do the rest.
Let go and it will stop, but with an array of cameras and sensors looking in every direction, the car should work things out for itself. Clearly, we are one step closer to the end game: autonomous cars collecting us from the pub.
The key fob that controls the self-parking feature also has an LED display to show how much fuel the car has (and what the estimated range is), plus the status of door locks and windows.
It has a 2.2-inch touch screen with a resolution of 320 x 320 and lets you set the climate control or heaters to a certain temperature before you get in; it also shows notifications, such as when a service is due.
Continuing the mobile theme, the 7-Series includes a 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 between the two rear passenger seats. This can be detached and used as a regular Android tablet (and connected to the car’s built-in Wi-Fi network), but when fitted in the car it runs a bespoke BMW application.
Here, passengers can control the music, the cabin lighting, and the position of both rear seats and the front passenger seat, which can fold flat to act as a footrest.
But the toys are not only for backseat passengers; those up front also get to have some fun. New for the 2016 7-Series is a 3D sensor that reads hand gestures performed by the driver or front passenger. Rotate a pointed finger in front of the dashboard to turn the stereo volume up or down or prod two fingers toward the dashboard to reject an incoming call.
Several other gestures can be configured to do whatever you like with the Car DVD Player. BMW’s iDrive system is here, as you would expect, and features a touch screen for the first time. There is also the familiar scroll dial and control buttons between the front seats.
The display, which is projected on to the windshield and can be seen only by the driver, shows the car’s speed, the limit for that road (which changes when a camera spots a different road sign), overtaking restrictions, and sat-nav instructions in full colour. If installing an Android Car Stereo, that would be great!