Absurd? Smart? New 2024 BMW 5 Series feature lets you change lanes just by looking

Cue how some BMW owners don’t know how to use signal lights right here. We kid, we jest, we’re joking! As we know, the 2024 5 Series has just been uncovered, and with it came the usual goodies expected from a 5 Series, as well as one nifty – or strange, or scary if we may say so – optional feature. What do you think about changing lanes just by using your eyes with no steering wheel input needed? The addition of what the brand calls Active Lane Change Assistant lets you do just that.

Look left, look right, BMW 5 Series follows

Bmw 5 Series Lane Change Assistant Inline 01 Min

Photo: BMW

European vehicles always come with a lot of fancy tech, and we can’t deny that. As part of the draw of the new BMW 5 Series, its proprietary driver assist system can be “updated” with more features, and for this article, we’re looking at a specific one which is the Active Lane Change Assistant.

Directly quoting the brand, what this does is described like so: “This comfort feature now achieves a new level of interaction between the driver and the vehicle. The vehicle suggests a lane change and this can be carried out for the first time by looking in the exterior mirror to confirm the lane change. The Active Lane Change Assistant takes over the necessary steering movements automatically, the traffic situation permitting.”

Yes, aside from activating the system, it changes lanes without you doing anything else.

Bmw 5 Series Lane Change Assistant Inline 02 Min

Photo: BMW

Using the 5 Series infotainment system, you can choose to turn this feature on or off. It has been updated compared to the previous version and models, though, because now all you have to do is make sure it’s on. If it is, and you find yourself on a stretch of road where a lane change can be done safely (AKA an open road), the Active Lane Change Assistant takes over. Yes, it can still be initiated with the signal stalk, but as we’ve been on since the start, the 5 Series can now do that just by looking at the side mirror on the side that you wish to merge into.

On its own. Automatically.

And it helps you stay within your new lane after executing the lane change as well.

Bmw 5 Series Lane Change Assistant Inline 03 Min

Photo: BMW

We’re all about smart technology, but what we’re really after is safe tech. Granted this is a BMW and they have video spread across the worldwide web showing how this actually works, we’re genuinely curious if one, it will work in a country such as ours, and two, if anyone’s had any untoward, “nightmare” stories of the system glitching.

What do you think? We’re pretty sure this will not work within metropolitan areas, but for those who may get a new 5 Series and stretch its legs out on highways, is it a safe feature, or do you think it’s just another novelty that will end up unused after having paid a premium for its addition?

Now we wonder if we can get a test unit and try this out ourselves. Will we? Should we?

Mikko Juangco
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