It’s the era where Autonomous cars have become the spotlight in the automotive industry. Although we’re quite far from having totally autonomous cars, efforts are certainly being made, and in a focused manner. One such effort-maker is BMW. At present, the company is currently trying its best with the next-generation adaptive cruise control system that adapts the technology for city use.

The spotlight is the ability of the adaptive cruise control to detect and stop on it’s own at red lights. Fascinating. The company demonstrated the aforementioned technology at it’s NextGen event this Tuesday, and plans to roll out in the near future.

The recent BMWs on the road right now already can detect speed limits and pass those on the cruise control. The cameras used in this system are no different to the ones used to automatically stop at red lights. The system also uses the cars’s built-in navigation feature to know about the whereabouts of traffic lights.

As per reports from Cnet, the technology was put to test on a short test route around Munich, Germany approaching a traffic light at about 30 kilometers per hour. With the change in light from green to yellow, the car’s radar picked up the signal all on it’s own. The BMW 330i test car displayed a traffic light image on the digital gauge cluster. The car then slowed for the light without the driver needing to do anything. The technology was said to work flawlessly.

Nicknamed “Urban Traffic Light Recognition”, at least internally, adaptive cruise control lets a car to slow down and eventually stop at a traffic light without the driver even touching the brake pedal. “This tech will be able to work at stop signs, as well” said BMW’s engineers though the same was not demonstrated.

The software feature is yet to release and an upgrade on the existing BMW cars can be expected. The date of launch is still to be known.

As per BMW, this technology can work at speed up to 80 kilometers per hour currently, and could certainly increase.

On launch, vehicles fitted with the latest radar systems like the 3 series or X7 should be able to add the tech via over-the-air updates.Although BMW is unsure about it’s legal approval by the US, the company still hopes to roll this tech out several countries.

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