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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:07 AM
jer38lms jer38lms is offline
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Question new guy intro and F10 voice command accuracy

Hi,

First a brief introduction - I just registered. I'm a psychologist in Toronto - I currently drive a 2008 Infiniti G35x and have recently ordered a 550i XDrive - to be delivered to the dealer in mid to late April (March production). I ordered it pretty much fully loaded although with the m-sport package, RES, or night-vision. I have read just about every review posted about the 5-series online, have read countless forum threads, have test-driven the car 5-10 times, and am VERY excited.

I had a question about the i-Drive voice command system. The floor manager in the sales department at my dealership tells me that the voice recognition is "not that great" and makes so many mistakes that most people don't use it. I recognize that voice recognition technology is not perfect. The voice command system on my Infiniti is reasonably accurate though, in that it will accurately interpret when I speak phone numbers and addresses well over 85% of the time. It can become a little frustrating on the odd occasion but I generally find it effective and I use it all the time. Should I be expecting the 550i to be less accurate to the point of making it more trouble than it's worth? I would love to get some feedback about this.

Jeremy
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:13 AM
highyo highyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jer38lms View Post
Hi,

First a brief introduction - I just registered. I'm a psychologist in Toronto - I currently drive a 2008 Infiniti G35x and have recently ordered a 550i XDrive - to be delivered to the dealer in mid to late April (March production). I ordered it pretty much fully loaded although with the m-sport package, RES, or night-vision. I have read just about every review posted about the 5-series online, have read countless forum threads, have test-driven the car 5-10 times, and am VERY excited.

I had a question about the i-Drive voice command system. The floor manager in the sales department at my dealership tells me that the voice recognition is "not that great" and makes so many mistakes that most people don't use it. I recognize that voice recognition technology is not perfect. The voice command system on my Infiniti is reasonably accurate though, in that it will accurately interpret when I speak phone numbers and addresses well over 85% of the time. It can become a little frustrating on the odd occasion but I generally find it effective and I use it all the time. Should I be expecting the 550i to be less accurate to the point of making it more trouble than it's worth? I would love to get some feedback about this.

Jeremy
first, welcome, waiting is the hardest part, but i suggest finding out what ship your car is on and tracking it at marinetraffic.com, great site!

second, i have used the voice commands sporadically and have found they are better than my e60 (oh really? highyo thinks that f10 is better than e60? shocker) the only issue is the cadence, just another quirky bmw system to learn.
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:23 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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No issues with using mine. So far I have really limited it to navigation commands and phone book commands. Haven't tried it for audio, etc. But I might see what commands are in there that will be useful shortcuts.

I'd say that it's useful, but not the best system I have tried. The system in my Acura totally sucks, to the point where when it was my DD, I never used it. Not the same in the BMW.

I think Audi's MMI is better. Not that the recognition is any better, but if you stray off of the phrases that it shows, it kinda figures out what you're trying to ask for.
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Last edited by Needsdecaf; 02-24-2011 at 08:24 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-24-2011, 09:37 AM
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1HOT BMR 1HOT BMR is offline
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I've never used the voice commands driving an Infiniti but my previous car was an Acura RL and compared to that the F10 voice commands just suck! Same for the Navigation system - I find it so bad that I always take my Garmin as a backup. Buy the car for other reasons and not for the implementation of these basic technologies.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:41 AM
FPNY FPNY is offline
um, i dunno
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i find mostly it's easier to just press whatever button you want yourself. i only use mine if i know the phone number by heart, it doesn't seem to recognize names so well, in fact, sometimes it's comical to hear what i thinks you are asking it for....
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2011, 11:48 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Originally Posted by FPNY View Post
i find mostly it's easier to just press whatever button you want yourself. i only use mine if i know the phone number by heart, it doesn't seem to recognize names so well, in fact, sometimes it's comical to hear what i thinks you are asking it for....
Hmm, just this morning I used it on a bunch of weird names and it did fine.

However, sometimes it really does get it very wrong.
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2011 535i
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Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the cars are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2011, 01:17 PM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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Well it works, but it doesn't seem to add anything wortwhile to the car.
It is quite an useless extra just like the voice recognition by lets say a Parrot.
I had rather have a sparewheel in my trunk!!
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2011, 02:37 PM
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B-1 Pilot B-1 Pilot is offline
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I've found that BMW voice recognition works very well if you say the exact phrase its looking for. The trick becomes developing the proper vocabulary to do what you want. For the most part though.. if you say the command on the screen you want (vs. scrolling and pushing down on the controller) it will select that option. You have to state command one by one, versus being able to specifically say the one thing you want, which becomes a bit laborious.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2011, 04:31 PM
CC Brown CC Brown is offline
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I use the system for navigation and the phone all the time. I have used the Mercedes system , the google system on the iPhone and Dragon speak, and it seems fine. It really saves time saying new addresses to the nav system in one sentence.
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2011, 06:25 AM
jer38lms jer38lms is offline
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Thanks for all the replies. I am in complete agreement that one should not buy a car for such tech features. I love the car in its entirety but yes, the tech features are an added convenience IF they work reasonably well. Two more specific questions:

1) If I pair the car with my iPhone, I understand that my iPhone's contact list will automatically download. At that point, can I use the voice command to say "call Joanne" and have it recognize that I have a contact named Joanne? If so, can you be more specific and say whether to call Joanne at home, at work, or on her cell? Also if so, does this functionality work reasonably well, or does it misinterpret most?

2) If I simply say call "416-555-1212" will it get that right most of the time?

Thanks,

Jeremy
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  #11  
Old 02-26-2011, 10:03 AM
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1HOT BMR 1HOT BMR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jer38lms View Post
1) If I pair the car with my iPhone, I understand that my iPhone's contact list will automatically download. At that point, can I use the voice command to say "call Joanne" and have it recognize that I have a contact named Joanne? If so, can you be more specific and say whether to call Joanne at home, at work, or on her cell? Also if so, does this functionality work reasonably well, or does it misinterpret most?

2) If I simply say call "416-555-1212" will it get that right most of the time?

Thanks,

Jeremy
I don't use the voice commands so here is what I do that I find works better for me:

1) Yes the contact list will be available. The easiest way to call for me is to use the little rolling wheel/button on the steering wheel to scroll down the list of contacts and just push it to call. Your last call will be the first available on the list - always.
2) For common numbers and other commands that I want to access instantly without fuss I use the programmable keys 1-8 on the dash below the A/C vents - things like call home, on/off for nav guidance, on/off for nav screen, nearest gas station, etc.
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2011, 10:10 AM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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+1
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  #13  
Old 02-26-2011, 11:44 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Location: The Woodlands, TX
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jer38lms View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I am in complete agreement that one should not buy a car for such tech features. I love the car in its entirety but yes, the tech features are an added convenience IF they work reasonably well. Two more specific questions:

1) If I pair the car with my iPhone, I understand that my iPhone's contact list will automatically download. At that point, can I use the voice command to say "call Joanne" and have it recognize that I have a contact named Joanne? If so, can you be more specific and say whether to call Joanne at home, at work, or on her cell? Also if so, does this functionality work reasonably well, or does it misinterpret most?

2) If I simply say call "416-555-1212" will it get that right most of the time?

Thanks,

Jeremy
1. To use voice command with the phone book, press the voice command and say "phone book", it will respond "please say a name". Say "call John Smith". It will say "do you want to call John Smith"? Say "yes". It will say "there is more than one entry for John Smith, please say the number of the entry you want to call". Say "two". It will dial.

I ahve not tried asking it "call John Smith". I will have to do that to eliminate a step.

2. No, you say "dial number" then say the number after the prompt. .
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2011 535i
Sophisto Grau / Oyster - Black Nappa, Anthracite Wood Gone but not forgotten.

Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the cars are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organised by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are English, the cars are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organised by the Italians

Last edited by Needsdecaf; 02-26-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-26-2011, 01:40 PM
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RaveD RaveD is offline
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The voice recognition technology in both Infiniti and BMW is from Nuance Communications. Chances are if you get good results in the Infiniti, you will get good results in the BMW.

Many factors affect recognition accuracy such as background noise. Sometimes people try too hard to make the system understand them by speaking slowly or screaming, but the system works best when you speak clearly and naturally.

For me it works well though it is certainly not perfect. I use it regularly with my phone, to dial contacts and speak phone numbers, and for this it is extremely accurate. I'm hoping to find some improvements in my new F10 that I plan to have in a few months.
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2011, 06:01 PM
Huncowboy Huncowboy is offline
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I have an accent and I speak fast. This is our 4th bmw with voice rec. I have given up on the feature completely years ago. I would say "Map facing north" and I would get "AUX on". Then I have read here that the navigation takes full addresses in a single command. I have tried it expecting total failure. It works. I can't believe it but it works. So does the rest of the commands I have tried. I am still not big on using them since most commands can be saved on the 1-8 keys.
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  #16  
Old 03-01-2011, 06:50 PM
CC Brown CC Brown is offline
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When I first got my car I was really pissed when I tried to enter a navigation address it would not take it. It says enter house #, street, city and State. I was trying to talk so slow so it would understand that it started to search before I was finished. Then I spoke as if to a person at a faster pace and it has worked perfectly ever since.

I live in Atlanta and thought it was my slow speech that caused the problem. But my brother from New York talked slower than I did as if talking to an idiot. So the secret is talk normally not faster and certainly not slower.
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:45 PM
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RaveD RaveD is offline
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Originally Posted by CC Brown View Post
Then I spoke as if to a person at a faster pace and it has worked perfectly ever since.
This is a common misconception about voice recognition technology. It is actually less accurate when you speak too slowly.
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