Due on sale in late October, the new BMW 7-Series 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 back seat passengers to control every aspect of the interior, including the lights, sounds and even how it smells.
1. Automatic parking
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.
2. Smart key
The same 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 2.2in touchscreen 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.
3. Inductive charger
The smart key's battery will last for months but to stop it ever running out, the 7-Series has an inductive charger to slot it into as you drive. The charger can also top-up any smartphones (or phone cases and covers) compatible with the Qi charging standard.
4. Samsung tablet between the back seats
Continuing the mobile theme, the 7-Series includes a 7in 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, cabin lighting, the position of both rear seats and the front passenger seat, which can fold completely flat to act as a footrest.
The tablet can also be used to control the seats' massage function and even how the cabin smells; two different perfumes can be installed when you buy the car and picked from depending on your mood. The tablet can play its own music through the car, or stream video to two 10.3in screens on the back of the front seats.
5. Gesture controls for 12.3in touchscreen dashboard display
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 towards the dashboard to reject an incoming call.
Several other gestures can be configured to do whatever you like with the car's infotainment system. BMW's iDrive system is here, as you would expect, and features a touchscreen for the first time. There is also the familiar scroll dial and control buttons between the front seats.
6. Bowers & Wilkins 1,400w stereo with speakers made from diamond
Such a huge car demands an equally large stereo, and few come larger than the 1,400-watt system created for the new 7-Series by British sound company Bowers & Wilkins. It has no fewer than 16 speakers dotted around the cabin, each illuminated as part of the car's dynamic lighting package, which includes lights in the roof lining designed to resemble a starry night.
A £5,000 optional extra, the stereo's speakers include laboratory-grown diamonds in the tweeters to produce sounds beyond what humans can hear. Never seen in cars before, the three diamond dome tweeters are joined by seven midrange drive units made from Kevlar, a material more commonly found in Formula One cars and bulletproof jackets. Completing the set-up are a further four aluminium tweeters, two bass subwoofers and a 1,400 watt, 10-channel amplifier.
7. Heads-up display with night vision
And finally... the 7-Series' heads-up display is 75% larger than its predecessor, as used by the BMW i8, and uses a night vision camera to warn the driver about pedestrians and large animals, which may be hidden at the sides of the road. The display, which is projected on to the windscreen and can only be seen 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.
The new BMW 7-Series goes on sale on 24 October. Prices start from £63,750.