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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 07-31-2011, 11:42 AM
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jc_///m3 jc_///m3 is offline
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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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  #2  
Old 07-31-2011, 01:01 PM
BimmerMun BimmerMun is offline
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I don't have mine yet, so my comments are officially hearsay. It's my understanding that the driver is only warned (on both the center screen and the heads up display) if the real-time image recognition decides that what it's seeing is a human in the road or someone on a bicycle.

Hmm, it sounds to me as if the wizards at BMW don't feel that a deer, bear, dog, coyote, or any other kind of critter is a concern to their drivers. Perhaps a little less artificial intelligence might be useful. For example, Is something in the road? Yes - warn the driver! Isn't it that simple?
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:57 AM
Rush2808 Rush2808 is offline
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I had mine and it saved me so many times from deer and other creatures, i live in the woods of long island and we have wildlifes here and also sometime when my mind is like wandering off while driving back from work the pedestrian detection saved me many times also from those bicycle with no reflectors on turns / hills.

this is the best part: i tell girls to stand in front of my car, and if they dont turn yellow that means they're not "hot"
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:04 AM
PaceBMW of Mamaroneck PaceBMW of Mamaroneck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rush2808 View Post
this is the best part: i tell girls to stand in front of my car, and if they dont turn yellow that means they're not "hot"
This on its own makes it worth it
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  #5  
Old 08-01-2011, 09:53 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerMun View Post
I don't have mine yet, so my comments are officially hearsay. It's my understanding that the driver is only warned (on both the center screen and the heads up display) if the real-time image recognition decides that what it's seeing is a human in the road or someone on a bicycle.

Hmm, it sounds to me as if the wizards at BMW don't feel that a deer, bear, dog, coyote, or any other kind of critter is a concern to their drivers. Perhaps a little less artificial intelligence might be useful. For example, Is something in the road? Yes - warn the driver! Isn't it that simple?
There is more emphasis on pedestrians in Europe simply because there's a lot more of them especially in the urban centres. In America everyone drives around but in Europe, there's a lot of walking down in towns and cities and given the narrower roads and limited visibility, pedestrian accidents are a big deal there. Same reasoning behind Euro NCAP pedestrian crash requirements and hence the Active hood/bonnet on the F10.
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  #6  
Old 12-05-2012, 09:02 AM
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cordoor cordoor is online now
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I don't want to get into the business of resurrecting really old threads, but I'm going to make an exception this time.

I have a 550 on order right now. It has not started production, so the order can be modified. I added every package and option except individual (because of m sport), night vision, b&o sound, and rear seat entertainment. I am reconsidering the night vision.

I drive my two girls to school every morning. During this time of year, it's dark when I drive them. Additionally, because they go to school so early, they wake me up :-) So I'm generally still waking up while I'm behind the wheel. Sure, I could change my habit and get up earlier so I'm awake. But I won't.

This morning a couple of joggers (who weren't jogging, they were just walking) were crossing the road. I didn't see them at all because they didn't have good reflective clothing on. I was probably 8 feet away from them when I drove by. They had already crossed my lane and were in the opposing traffic lane when I passed them. So they probably knew they weren't going to get hit so didn't bother to pick up their pace. But it startled me.

And then, I noticed several other joggers on the way and way back, most of which didn't have anything reflective on.

I immediately thought of the night vision feature and wondered if it wouldn't be worth $30/month to add it for piece of mind. I would really only use it in the morning when driving the girls to school.

What are your guys' thoughts? Anyone else besides the original contributors to this thread purchase the option and use it? Does it work well?

I will have HUD so if it shows ped detection on the HUD that would be nice.

-Corey
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  #7  
Old 12-05-2012, 09:50 AM
bmguy bmguy is online now
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I have it this feature, been using it for a year; I was original very happy with it; but over the last year I have found the biggest issue is the field of view and the second biggest is the road grimm cover the lens and makes it useless in the winter months that I wanted it for;

I would not spend the money on the feature on my next car. It system is done very wrong; it should be behind the wind shied so it both protected and so you can clean the glass and see;

I suspect these issues only happen in certain markets, and hence they have not been addressed.

on top of that, the pedestrian detection tints people slightly yellow which is almost impossible to see unless you concentrate so that feature is useless;

The actually warning does work (the alert) but the system has to decide that your path of travel will intersect with the person it detected. I have had a few false positives with both people and those construction signs when driving right at them.

In a nut shell, I think the risk of being distracted is not worth the benefits of the system in area where the winter months are longer and have road salts/grime all over the place.

The system needs to be reworked behind the windshield and winder angle to see stuff along the side of the road closer to the car.

btw; its great at finding warm cop cars on the side of the road at night... but not sure there is wide enough gap between you and the cops at that point to avoid a ticket...
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  #8  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:14 AM
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cordoor cordoor is online now
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Excellent response! This is exactly the information I needed. Thanks.

-Corey
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  #9  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:19 AM
bmguy bmguy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordoor View Post
I will have HUD so if it shows ped detection on the HUD that would be nice.

-Corey
I forgot to answer this, with HUD, you do get the alert in the HUD display....
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  #10  
Old 12-05-2012, 10:48 AM
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cordoor cordoor is online now
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Originally Posted by bmguy View Post
I forgot to answer this, with HUD, you do get the alert in the HUD display....
But still not worth it, I assume.

-Corey
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  #11  
Old 12-05-2012, 11:09 AM
John NY John NY is offline
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I have this feature, and I haven't been impressed. When you have it on, you lose the nav screen. Also, as others mentioned, you wind up staring at the screen, rather than the front windshield. BMW would have been better off not using the nav screen for this, and using only the heads up display that only highlights people, animals, etc.
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  #12  
Old 12-05-2012, 01:07 PM
auto_bahn auto_bahn is offline
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You can use split screen if want bot nav and night vision on the display. In general the system works and with some improvements I would consider it also on my next car. Things I am missing after 8 months I've been using it:
1) offline mode - would keep warning on HUD only in some circumstances
2) while the lens is cleaned together with headlights it still requires additional cleaning, especially autumn/winter time. So agree it would sit better behind windshield
3) cannot save nightvision under quick selection menu and split screen needs to be set manually each time
4) most importantly - it does not recognize people / animals in 100% percent cases. Could be fog (very poor vision with fog), dirty lens but also occazionally it just does not display yellow color on pedestrians / animals.

That said, I do use it daily and it also helps when blinded by other cars i traffic.
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  #13  
Old 12-05-2012, 05:57 PM
bmguy bmguy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordoor View Post
But still not worth it, I assume.

-Corey
I don't think so... It's a neat thing to have, it shows well and impresses every one that sees it... But I would have rather kept my money and did something else with it....
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  #14  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:57 PM
CC Brown CC Brown is offline
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I have had night view with HUD for 2 1/2 yrs. Part of the time it didn't work in that it did not identify people. It has been fixed and I did notice a yellow flash in my HUD. It does accurately depict a person but just show a yellow triangle with a person in it. The bigger it is the closer the person. When I bought the stuff I thought it would show the person with a yellow triangle over them. So you really cannot tell were the person is just that there is somebody.

I don't see how anyone can stare at the screen and see problems and not wreck. When we do drive at night the passenger looks at the screen to give help.

I would NEVER order this feature again. I don't believe it would ever save me from an accident. It cost $2600 and when they tried to fix it they had my car for 3 days for 3 times. That's nine days. They had to order the parts from Germany and it took 10-15 days each time they did that.

If it recognized animals and it put the object in the HUD so you could tell where it is and miss it then it might be better but not at $2600!
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  #15  
Old 12-06-2012, 02:20 PM
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wdimagineer wdimagineer is offline
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For the reasons most have specified I opted to not order it on my M5. On my 550 it was merely a conversation tool. Rarely, if ever, did I use it in real driving.

Audi's implementation in the instrument cluster is better, but until it's visible in the HUD I won't be ordering it again from any marque.
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  #16  
Old 12-06-2012, 09:12 PM
jpmf10 jpmf10 is offline
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I have been using mine for just under a year. Both near my home and my work there are people competing for the Darwin awards and walk in the street in dark clothing at night. I have had the warning go off 3 times in the past year, and one of time it was really needed, the other two time it was just nice to know it was working. Here in Georgia, we do not have much of a problem with road crud covering the lense. I really do think it is useful, and I do not have a problem with the screen being a distraction. I have the HUD and the warning will pop up there, I only glance at the screen when I am stopped. I am amazed at the clarity. You can tell how tires are heating, where there is a bit of a heat loss from one of my house door seals....
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