Best of all, instead of showing off their car in the relative safety of a test track, they've gone for one of the most challenging driving environments in the world, the speed limit free German Autobahn.
In a similar way to Google's self-driving cars, BMW's awkwardly named ConnectedDrive Connect (CDC) uses four types of sensors, radar, cameras, laser scanners and ultrasound distance sensors, to stay aware of the car's surroundings. The big difference is that BMW wanted the car to look as much like a normal 5 Series as possible, with few external clues (other than the giant ConnectedDrive graphics) to tip you off.
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BMW believes that the system could be available in production cars within 10 to 15 years, but given the way this type of technology has been progressing recently, I'm thinking it could be even earlier than that.