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2019 BMW X7. Photo: BMW

This week I'm driving the 2019 BMW X7, the newest and largest SUV in the German luxury manufacturer's lineup, with a sticker price of $85,445.

Why it matters: BMW is best known for producing ultimate driving machines, so I zeroed in on the ample driver-assistance features in this jumbo-size Bimmer to see how well the machine actually does the driving.

Details: Besides standard driver-assistance warnings for blind-spot detection, lane departure and front and rear collision, the X7 xDrive40i also comes with BMW's $1,700 Drivers Assistance Pro package.

  • The package includes an active lane-keeping feature for highway driving and can assist in stop-and-go traffic up to 37 miles per hour.
  • The system uses a driver-facing camera in the instrument cluster to monitor the driver’s eye and nose position to determine if the person is paying attention.
  • As long as they're attentive, they can take their hands off the wheel for 30 to 50 seconds at a time.

The bottom line: Compared to other driver-assistance technologies I've tried, the BMW X7 seemed heavy-handed. I often felt like I was competing for control, rather than being assisted.

  • But the traffic jam assistance was a welcome relief when we hit heavy traffic outside Toronto.

One other fun feature: The X7 also has the gesture-control feature introduced on the BMW 7 Series sedan, which lets you adjust the audio volume with the twirl of a finger. We had fun talking with our hands and playing around with different gestures to see what would happen.

  • But in the end, we were left wondering: What's wrong with a knob?

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.

"Assassin's Creed," but for schools

"Viking Age: Discovery Tour." Image via Ubisoft

For the third time since 2018, Ubisoft is releasing a nonviolent version of its latest “Assassin’s Creed” game as part of a unique effort to turn one of the medium’s most popular series into an educational tool.

Driving the news:Viking Age: Discovery Tour” transforms last year’s “Assassin’s Creed Valhalla” from a bloody 150-hour game about Viking conquest in 9th century England into a peaceful four-hour game about merchants and monks.

School enrollment fell by almost 3 million from 2019 to 2020

Kindergarten student Natalia Bayoumi holds the hand of her father Amir Bayoumi as he walks to the front door of Normont Elementary School in Harbor City, CA. Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The number of individuals enrolled in the U.S. education system dropped by 2.9 million from 2019 to 2020, according to new data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

Why it matters: This marks the lowest level of school enrollment for those under 35 years-old in over 20 years, per the Census Bureau.