Last week, I characterized the BMW 7 Series we took on a road trip across Europe as next-level luxury, without getting into any great detail about what exactly I was referring to. I’m going to get to that – I promise! – but first, I want to give you a bit of taste of what it was like driving the car. Check it out.
One aspect of the trip that made it so enjoyable – other than the scenery, of course – were the many innovative features of our 7 Series. Here are just a few of my favorites.
Active Cruise Control. I have to tell you that this was one of my most favorite features of the car. We’re all familiar with cruise control – and having to constantly deactivate, reactivate and adjust when the car you’re following decides to change speeds. With active cruise control, our car would “see” the car in front of us and automatically react to changes in speed. If the car in front slowed down, our car would slow down – automatically. Same if it sped up. Plus, I could set four different follow distances.
This kind of self-driving feature was completely new to me and took a little bit of practice and trust to get used to. However, once I did, it made the trip so much more comfortable and relaxing because all of those small accelerations, decelerations and just plain thinking about the car in front of you add up over the course of six hours or so and take a mental and physical toll.
Gesture Control. With BMW Gesture Control, selected functions can be operated by means of defined hand movements. Simple gestures such as swiping or pointing are identified in the recognition area above the center console and trigger a specific function.
You saw in the video me using gesture commands to operate some of the car’s features, including the Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System as well as a custom gesture – the two finger point – which I could assign to any function. (In my case it was simply to return to the main menu.) A feature like Gesture Control isn’t just next-level luxury, it’s the cutting edge of innovation and the future of luxury.
Concierge. BMW Concierge Service is like having your own private butler/personal assistant right in the car. And for someone like me who’s always on the go and traveling to new places both stateside and abroad, it’s an incredibly convenient and invaluable tool.
For example, if I’m in a foreign city and looking for a nice place to eat (or a high-end cigar shop), with the push of a button, I can talk to a representative at the BMW Call Center who will hook me up with the info I need, including sending the address straight to the car’s Navigation System. A much safer option than fumbling around with a cell phone while driving, which, of course, you should never do.
On our way from Zürich to Milan, we actually used the Concierge to find out traffic information. About halfway through the trip, traffic came to a complete standstill in the Alps. The Concierge let us know there’d been an accident and that we’d be moving again in 15 minutes. Where has this service been my entire life?!
Massage Function. You know how when you’re on a long road trip and about two or three hours in you start to get cramped up and uncomfortable? Yeah, I know that feeling. It’s something I experienced more than a few times on the long drives from Zürich to Milan and again from Milan to Munich.
Usually, there are only two options for relief: 1) stop for a bit to get out of the car and stretch or 2) suck it up and deal with it. BUT, in the 7 Series there was a third option which I (and Rob in the passenger seat and Robin in the back seat) took full advantage of – the massage function.
Surround View & 3D Top View. Though my parallel parking skills are considered legendary by some, parking a large vehicle is not easy. I’m not going to lie. So the surround view – yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like, cameras all around the car – as well as the birds-eye top view were helpful and welcome innovations.
Thanks for reading. More European adventures coming up!
He Spoke Style