The 2021 BMW 8 Series Is Actually Removing a Safety Feature

The 2020 BMW 8 Series shows that when it comes to a luxury driving experience, BMW is still a contender. Regardless of which model you choose, but you’ll enjoy the smooth, serene ride you’d expect for the price. The new 8 Series offers two refined powertrains, a top-shelf chassis, and an upscale interior using the finest materials.

What safety feature is the 8 Series losing in 2021? How will it impact BMW owners?

Discontinuing a safety feature

One available safety feature that won’t be available in the 2021 BMW 8 Series is night vision with pedestrian detection, according to MotorTrend.  

The feature is designed by BMW to give drivers the best possible night visibility. It also warns of pedestrians and large animals it detects in the distance. The feature is always engaged. It uses a thermographic camera to scan the area before the vehicle for people and animals of a certain size.

The system then determines the proximity and position of the animal and person and analyzes the current speed and steering angle. With that information, the system alerts the driver of the detection in a timely manner to avoid any chance of accident or injury. In the case of an increased chance of collision, an acute warning along with a thermal image of the detection on the iDrive screen.

What that means for drivers

The loss of the night vision feature will affect the BMW owners who opted for the standalone feature. It helped with driving at night and detecting people and animals to avoid a collision. While they didn’t give a reason for dropping the feature from the 8 Series, there’s speculation that they dropped it as Lexus did not too long ago. Lexus allegedly dropped it because they didn’t have many takers for the feature.

According to a recent article in Forbes, thermal imaging can improve pedestrian safety. But as they point out, the camera is only as good at the image created at the time.  The systems aren’t perfect. According to Forbes, independent tests by agencies like AAA, Consumer Reports, and IIHS have revealed the limitations of visible light cameras when used for safety. 

If the vehicle is leaving a tunnel or the sun is shining directly into the camera, even well-tuned AI algorithms struggled to detect pedestrians in time. They also noticed if there wasn’t enough contrast like someone wearing dark-colored clothes at night, the detection was hit or miss. Adding radar improved the odds it would accurately detect the animal or pedestrian in time. But the addition didn’t perfect the feature, and it’s very expensive.

The 2020 BMW 8 Series

RELATED: The 2021 BMW 3 Series Is Adding a Feature That Should Have Already Been There

If you love the convertible and coupe models of BMW’s 8 Series, grab one in 2020. The big news for 2021 models is that they are both going away leaving only the sedan.

The new 840i models are equipped with a twin-turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine, according to Car and Driver, that gets 335 hp. They also get an eight-speed automatic transmission with either rear or all-wheel drive. These models are less expensive and powerful but still are worthy luxury cars. 

The M850i models get a twin-turbo V8 that gets an impressive 523 hp. It’s also paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive. Although the view is hampered a little by a sloping roofline, the cabin of the 8 Series is finely crafted and loaded with the latest features.

BMW also added a new stylish 8 Series Gran Coupe to its 2020 lineup.

If you’re looking for a sharp-looking, dynamic sports car with an opulent interior and loads of tech features, the BMW 8 Series might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s not as competent as some of its two-seat peers, but the 2020 BMW 8 Series does masterfully blend athleticism and great comfort for a safe, comfortable luxury experience.