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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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Old 07-31-2011, 11:42 AM
jc_///m3's Avatar
jc_///m3 jc_///m3 is offline
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Location: Tennessee
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 184
Mein Auto: 2011 535xi ///M Sport
BMW Night Vision: A Review in Progress

What has been your experience with BMW's Night Vision option?

Here are my impressions so far:

Positive:
-The forward looking infrared (FLIR) image is sharp in both "white hot" and "dark hot" modes. Contrast settings are easy to adjust via iDrive.
-It's easy to activate/deactivate.
-Animals are easily identifiable, even when concealed in the brush.


Negative:
-It lends itself to "tunnel vision"...as the driver, you're seductively drawn-in to scan the night vision screen, disrupting your driving. For example, "hot" objects such as transformers, rocks and culverts present a distinctive IR signature and quickly grab your attention...quick! is it thing or beast? Best to have your passenger focus on the night vision screen while you stay focused on driving.
-Never had the pedestrian warning function as advertised.
-Field of vision is too narrow. Most of us drivers are concerned about deer. A wider field of view would enable greater detection of Dasher and Prancer grazing along the side of the road.
-IR camera location in the kidney grill is vulnerable to road damage (bug/bird strikes, rock chips)...the camera needs more protection.

Overall, it's a fantastic conversation piece but offers little overall utility for me. Invite your Redneck friends on a hunting trip. The spotter scans BMW Night Vision, and your shooter takes aim from the moon roof. However, I've only used it while traveling narrow country roads at speeds < 50mph. In this capacity, it's a great safety asset.
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