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x3man
01-20-2005, 07:56 PM
I love the idea of having a navigation system and computer display but my initial reaction when actually using it on my new X3 wasn't very good. I find the user interface rather user unfriendly. None of the dealerships had any test drive vehicles w/nav so I wasn't able to test the nav beforehand. It's functional but I expect better from BMW. I need to spend more time with it before I detail specific problems with the interface but I thought I'd start a discussion here to see what other nav owners all like/dislike about it.

JakeInVa
01-21-2005, 09:40 AM
I certainly agree that the user interface is unfriendly. Having a single knob to control everything seems a bit limited. At the same time, it got me where I wanted to go quite nicely, and I really like the feature that tells me when I'll be arriving at my destination.

That said, BMW could learn a lot from the Honda / Acura Nav systems.

x3ronnie
01-21-2005, 09:59 AM
I have a Magellan Roadmate 700. While it has some problems, overall it works very well. Obviously it is an external unit and doesn't blend the way a factory unit does. I have used the hardwired version in Hertz rental cars many times, and it is fantastic imo. I can't understand why BMW is playing catch-up with the nav unit, but I will wait and see if they improve when my lease is up in 07.

newdad
01-21-2005, 01:42 PM
my biggest complain(s): unable to scroll the map and unable to position the location of the car on the map.

these two problems are in fact the same: you can't scroll the 'navigation' map. you're in the dead center of the map all the time. i can't see more of where i'm heading then where i've past. it's a problem for me because i don't usually care the places i've past.

(repost from RF)

x3man
01-21-2005, 07:35 PM
I'm still new to the X3 and BMW nav system so I'll report more later but here's a few things I have experienced or suggestions for improvements:

1. The routes are really off. They are either very inefficient or lead me in the wrong direction -- and this happens way too frequently. There may be some fine tuning that I need to do as I learn more about the routing algorithms they use (like Fast Route, with Highways, etc...) However, I had one trip where it lead me into an apartment complex.

2. There seems to be a lag in the GPS. Sometimes, it doesn't tell me that I have to take a turn in time. I wish it would state things on time and in no uncertain terms like "Take a left now." Also, I wish it would prepare me better. Instead of "prepare for the exit", it would be better to say, "Stay right. The exit is 1/4 mile ahead." Does the system know which lane you are in or how many lanes are in a road for that matter?

BTW - I drove an Opel Vectra rental car in Germany a couple years back with a navigation system. I swear it was similar or even the same as the BMW one but only MUCH better directions. If it is the same system, I swear they dumbed it down for the American market.

3. I wish you could pre-program a route that you know and recall it. Even my Mom came up with this idea on her own and she's a technophobe.

4. I wish the address book was better designed and integrated. I want to be able to add a friend's name, address or addresses, phone number(s) all in one place and be able to call him/her, drive to their addresses, etc... I want to be able to add, delete, and edit entries. There seems to be no way of editing an entry.

5. Today, the nav system said "Go straight in the next 400 feet" or something like that. It was completely silly because I was already going straight. It would be better if it just didn't say anything or said "continue going straight"

6. I'd like to see my speed in the nav display.

7. I wish I could integrate a Valentine One into the nav display. Imagine being able to see bogies on the map!!!!!! It could also do a better job of weeding out false signals because it would know where things like roads are and what speed you are traveling at. I know there is a company that has some simple V1 integration but I'm talking about real integration.

8. The dial stinks. There should be both a touch screen and arrows (up down left right and push-in for enter)

9. The whole menu for the system should be more user-centric. It looks like some hardware engineer designed based on technical features that could be implemented and didn't look at how people use the system. ie. it needs to be user centric. The most common operations need to be intuitive and easy to get at. You shouldn't have to think about using it.

10. Voice recognition? Does it do it?

And I agree that BMW should take Honda/Acura's lead. Their NAV is much better! Maybe they should open the system up to 3rd party software developers. That way you can buy modules for the system from different vendors.

cwsqbm
01-21-2005, 07:59 PM
6. I'd like to see my speed in the nav display.

7. I wish I could integrate a Valentine One into the nav display. Imagine being able to see bogies on the map!!!!!! It could also do a better job of weeding out false signals because it would know where things like roads are and what speed you are traveling at. I know there is a company that has some simple V1 integration but I'm talking about real integration.

And I agree that BMW should take Honda/Acura's lead. Their NAV is much better!

#6: You already have the big round dial in front of you for speed. I did compare my speedometer to the Nav system's speed (in m/s so calculator was required) in my 330Ci, and was impressed that the speedometer is actually pretty accurate, at least compared to my buddy's E36 328 (80mph displayed netted 72mph according to GPS, and was pretty uniform on its amount off, later verified with a stopwatch.) Go to "Settings" screen and press and hold "menu" button for maybe 10-15 seconds.

#7: It would be so much simpler if the police all had transponders so that we could see them on the map. Yeah right. The V1 is good, but it only given vague direction and not distance at all, so plotting on a map would be hard. You would basically have to highlight a whole quadrant of the map.

I rode in co-worker's Accoord this week. Nav rocked compared to BMW. What I want from my nav is a bird's eye view relative to the car, or a rotating map with the car centric, not like the current map orienting used by BMW.

b-y
01-22-2005, 04:01 PM
What I want from my nav is a bird's eye view relative to the car, or a rotating map with the car centric, not like the current map orienting used by BMW.
BMW does have that. For all scales below 1"=1 mile, you have the option of north at the top or car direction at the top.

x3man
01-23-2005, 10:16 AM
#7: It would be so much simpler if the police all had transponders so that we could see them on the map. Yeah right. The V1 is good, but it only given vague direction and not distance at all, so plotting on a map would be hard. You would basically have to highlight a whole quadrant of the map.


The V1 does have signal strength which should have some correlation to distance assuming radar guns have some sort of standardized strength/power. Still, it can't pinpoint specifically where the source is but it can give a quandrant like you said. I believe in the UK they sell detectors that are GPS based that show where fixed speed cameras are. That would make a nice addition to the map for our European friends... ;-) I was also reading in another post how someone hooked up a V1 so that it didn't go off at low speeds like when driving in a shopping mall parking lot.

BupBup
01-26-2005, 01:20 PM
The V1 can be integrated into the X3, with or without navigation. The product is called stealth one. It will not plot your bogies on the map, cool as it would be. It basically gives you the same plain vanilla indicators you get on the face of the V1, but in a different location. It's also my understanding that it can automatically "Accept" that freaking disclaimer that pops onto the screen everytime you turn the vehicle on.

http://store.stealth-one.com/

I'd recommend reading the installation guide, as it shows you exactly what the $199 thing is capable of.

x3man
01-30-2005, 08:43 AM
I have found that "Fast Route" has improved my routes greatly. I couldn't find any explanation of the routing options in the manual. For example, it was unclear if "Fast Route" meant fastest as in the most efficient route or fastest in terms of how fast the route was calculated.

Still, there are problems. The system doesn't give weight to turns and traffic lights that can slow down a route. It also appears to not use a threshold or tolerance value when making it's decisions. For example, I am driving straight and I know that if I follow the road to a set of lights, I can continue straight to my destination. The nav instead tells me to take a left shortly before then follow that road then take a right until I hit the same set of lights if I were to have continued straight.

Another problem is that sometimes it says "prepare to take a left" or something like that but it's only because the road is twisty and bends to the left. It needs to look ahead in the instructions to see if by taking a turn, you end up on the same road. In which case, it should shut up.

I also ran into a problem where there was an exit (exit 5) with three sub-exits (exit 5a, exit 5b, etc...) but you have to stay in the right lane to take those sub exits. The nav tells you take the subexit like (5a) but it's unclear if you should take exit 5 and then exit 5a or wait for exit 5a. If the nav, told you to stay in the right lane, it would be much clearer.

iChick
01-30-2005, 08:15 PM
I just picked up my new X3 this weekend and I love it! (Special order from Graz - Sapphire Black w/ Black interior, dark wood trim, Premium Sound, Nav, Premium Pkg, privacy glass, heated seats, etc.) I've played a little with the Nav, and noticed it has improved quite a bit over the previous Nav system I had in my 2000 328ci. The lady doesn't talk as much and is more specific in her instructions. The input process is a little snappier and streamlined, yet works pretty much the same way. Again, I've only had a couple days to play with it but I'm please with the improvements.

Oh, another weird difference is in the Steptronic transmission. On my 3-series the upshifts and downshifts in the manual mode are just the opposite of the X3.