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In a groundbreaking development, HERE Technologies, the renowned location data and technology platform, has announced the integration of its HD Live Map in BMW’s latest 7 Series, featuring the “BMW Personal Pilot” Level 3 highly automated driving function. This milestone represents a significant achievement in the enduring partnership between the two companies, focusing on high-definition mapping for advanced driving assistance and automated vehicle systems.

BMW’s Personal Pilot empowers drivers to momentarily disengage from the driving process, allowing them to divert their attention while the vehicle operates autonomously under specific conditions. With the introduction of the BMW 7 Series in Germany in March 2024, drivers can experience this innovative function that enables hands-free driving, providing an opportunity to work, communicate, or enjoy entertainment features such as video streaming.

The HERE HD Live Map contributes crucial safety-enhancing data to the vehicle system, supporting tasks like localization, prediction, and path planning. By complementing the information obtained from various vehicle sensors, the HD Live Map enables the vehicle to “see” and “plan” in scenarios where sensors alone might have limitations. This heightened situational awareness is achieved by delivering precise information about the road network’s features and local rules in advance.

The HERE HD Live Map is instrumental in defining the operational design domain (ODD) for BMW’s Personal Pilot function, guiding the vehicle on when and where the autonomous driving feature can be activated. Comprising three distinct layers, the HD Live Map includes the Road Model, HD Lane Model, and Localization Layer, providing detailed road characteristics, lane-level information, and classifying roadside elements.

Nicolai Martin, SVP Driving Experience at BMW Group, emphasized the central role of the HERE HD Live Map in the BMW Personal Pilot Level 3 functionality. The map serves as the primary input source for creating the car’s driving path, offering critical information about geometry, lane positioning, and predicting road traffic signs. Martin highlighted that with the BMW Personal Pilot, the car essentially drives itself “on-map,” with sensors acting as an additional layer to share the safety load with the map.

Jason Jameson, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at HERE Technologies, expressed pride in supporting BMW‘s venture into the next level of vehicle automation. The integration of the HERE HD Live Map with BMW’s Personal Pilot function marks a significant achievement, emphasizing the pivotal role high-definition maps play in the future of automated driving.

The HERE HD Live Map, built on UniMap, HERE’s next-generation map-making capability, fuses data from various sources, including vehicle cameras, industrial lidar, and satellites, into a fully aligned and unified global map. With approximately 180 million cars sold with HERE maps on board, the company has established itself as the global market leader for automotive-grade maps driving navigation, advanced driving assistance, EVs, and automated driving systems.

The BMW Personal Pilot, set to debut in the new BMW 7 Series in March 2024, represents one of the first commercially available Level 3 highly automated driving functions. Operating at a maximum speed of 60 km/h in heavy traffic, this innovative system heralds a new era in the automotive industry’s pursuit of enhanced safety and driver convenience.

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