Technology for the 2012 3 Series includes a Heads Up Display and a Whole Lot More!

by Mark Jurista on October 18, 2011, 4:41 pm
We have had a few days to digest some more of the information in the press release about the next generation 3 Series and are truly amazed at the amount of technology present. Some of it you might enjoy and other parts you will probably hate. Either way, here is a run down of what you may find on board with your next 3 Series.

Heads Up Display with Full Color

I have to be honest; the heads up display is one my personal favorite items on the new car. I have never understood why it took so long to put this in cars since it lets you keep your eyes on the road. The awesomeness of what BMW has done is to allow customization in what is displayed as well as offering a ton of information. The heads up display includes the following information:
  • Road Speed
  • Road Signs including speed limits and restrictions
  • Navigation Instructions
  • Alerts from the Collision Warning and Lane Departure System
  • Additional check control information from the car

I think this is a brilliant addition and one we should hope to see in many more cars in the future.

BMW 3 Series F30 Heads Up Display


Handsfree Trunk Access

This may seem almost a bit gimicky but you are going to love it when you get used to it. I put this in the same realm as when comfort access was added to the car. Once you have had it and used it, you really do not know how to live without it.

Get access to your trunk handsfree


Lane Departure and Lane Change Warning System

One common theme you will find is that BMW has equipped this car with enough cameras to do a lot of work figuring out what is going on for the driver. The lane departure system activates when traveling over 43mph and warns you when you stray from your lane. It uses image processing to look at lane markings on at least one side of the road in order to make this determination. In addition to cameras, the car also features radar sensors to help you figure out if there are cars in your blind spot.

BMW 3 Series F30 Lane Change Indicators


Active Protection System

There are some positives and potential negatives in our view of this safety system. First the positives. At 11mph, the car will automatically tighten the driver and front passenger safety belts to take up any slack. If a potential collision is detected the car will once again tighten the safety belts as well as closing the windows and sunroof. The potentially negative part of this system is the fact that the car will automatically brake without any intervention required from the driver and slow the car after the initial collision. This is one of those things that sounds good in theory but could also prove to be a detriment depending on the situation you are in.

Active Protection System


BMW Assist Emergency Call

Score one for safety here. The new 3 Series is equipped with crash sensors that pass along crash data to emergency services to better prepare them for the scene they will be arriving at. In addition to making the emergency call (independent of your mobile phone) and passing along the sensor data, a call center agent will be on the line to get any additional information that you can provide to aid emergency services. This can and will be a life saving feature.

BMW Assist Emergency Calling


Rear View Camera and Surround View

I mentioned it before but here it is again; BMW has equipped your new 3 Series with up to five cameras to give you plenty of views around your car. The rear view camera gives you support when parking and letting you know if there is enough room to park your car safely. The option Surround View system adds more cameras including two side view cameras in the front bumper as well as top view cameras mounted in exterior mirrors. Combined these cameras provide you with a 270 degree viewing angle to see everything around you.

Rear View and Surround View


BMW Parking Assistant - Let Your BMW do the Parking

It only makes sense that BMW has added Parking Assistance to the list of features on the new 3 Series. The cameras are there already so why not make things a little bit easier for the driver; especially for those of us who may not be so proficient at parallel parking. The one interesting feature here is that under 22mph the car is actively searching (though this can be disabled) for parking spaces that will fit your 3 Series. Once you find a suitable spot, pop the car into reverse and simply tell the iDrive that you would like to use Parking Assistance. You will still need to use the gas and brake pedals (and keep an eye on the camera view too!) but the Parking Assistant will handle the steering to put you in nice and clean.

Let your BMW do the parking


There is a ton of technology in the new 3 Series and this is just a small sampling. Some of it you are going to love, some of it you will wish never existed and there may be some that you are never even aware of. No one could ever argue that making driving safer is a bad thing...as long as there is still a focus on making it the Ultimate Driving Machine.


What other technology have you seen on the 3 Series that you love or hate? Anything that you are reserving judgement for until you see it in person?


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26 responses to Technology for the 2012 3 Series includes a Heads Up Display and a Whole Lot More!

SD Z4MR commented:
October 18, 2011, 6:20 pm

I'm not sure if this would belong or not, but since it deals with electronics I thought it was worth mentioning. Not ground-breaking, but it looks nice.

The F30 instrument panel display "blanks out" when off, showing only the four dials:
SuperTerp commented:
October 19, 2011, 9:04 am

would love to see active vent seats
mstrq commented:
October 19, 2011, 10:48 am

I wonder how much 335i convertible will cost with all the options. I wouldn't be surprised if it reaches 85k in Canada (maybe 75k in US?). And I wonder how much of these will be available in Canada... 3 series in Canada doesn't have the radar cruise control offered as option. And F10 in Canada is not offered with auto-closing doors. And I'm a bit skeptical about handsfree trunk. If some animal walks by under the rear bumper, it can pop open the trunk. Or some plastic bag, leaves, cardboard box, road garbage carried by wind can trigger the system as well. You can be standing next to the car with the key in your pocket when this happens. And you can be looking in the other direction, and walk inside restaurant, movie theater, mall, etc., clueless about the open trunk. I hope there is a way to deactivate this, or at least they add a beep whenever the trunk opens.
MB330 commented:
October 19, 2011, 11:35 am

Quote:
Road Signs including speed limits and restrictions
That was on 528/535/550 but working only in Europe.
SD Z4MR commented:
October 19, 2011, 11:35 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstrq View Post
And I'm a bit skeptical about handsfree trunk. If some animal walks by under the rear bumper, it can pop open the trunk. Or some plastic bag, leaves, cardboard box, road garbage carried by wind can trigger the system as well. You can be standing next to the car with the key in your pocket when this happens. And you can be looking in the other direction, and walk inside restaurant, movie theater, mall, etc., clueless about the open trunk. I hope there is a way to deactivate this, or at least they add a beep whenever the trunk opens.
You don't think BMW didn't think of this? The Comfort Access key fob has to be within close proximity of the trunk. From the BMW USA Press Release:
"Innovative trunk access makes life a little easier.
BMW ConnectedDrive has come up with another new and intelligent solution that makes BMW cars even easier to use. The hands-free trunk lid opening function available for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan in conjunction with Comfort Access is a first in the premium class. Standing behind the car, customers can prompt the trunk to open with just a short movement of their foot under the center of the rear bumper, i.e. without using their hands. The trunk then automatically unlocks and swings open by spring force. The vehicle is fitted with sensors placed at different heights in the rear bumper trim, which are able to identify a person standing behind the vehicle. The sensors can identify the foot "command" by monitoring the area of the leg between the shin and the tip of the foot. They then send a signal containing special algorithms to the on-board computer. Access is only authorized, however, if the system simultaneously identifies the Comfort Access control unit (the key), which the person must be carrying with them. The trunk lid is then unlocked and raised automatically, without hand contact. Key authorization provides the safeguard ensuring correct operation at all times."
I find it hard to believe that someone wouldn't both hear and see the trunk lid raising if they're close enough behind the trunk to allow the system to trigger. Our car has Comfort Access and while we have to "squeeze" the rubber switch underneath the trunk lid, there is a noticeable motorized sound and a "pop" when the trunk opens. The trunk will probably also make some kind of mechanical sound when it swings open. I'm not at all concerned.
Bemo commented:
October 19, 2011, 11:36 am

I hope the improvements include more comfortable seats (even if an option)...another big complaint of mine with the 2011 328xi that we have. It is great for short trips and horrible on long trips....
16n69 commented:
October 19, 2011, 12:49 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by pix335i View Post
We have had a few days to digest some more of the information in the press release about the next generation 3 Series and are truly amazed at the amount of technology present. Some of it you might enjoy and other parts you will probably hate. Either way, here is a run down of what you may find on board with your next 3 Series.

Heads Up Display with Full Color

I have to be honest; the heads up display is one my personal favorite items on the new car. I have never understood why it took so long to put this in cars since it lets you keep your eyes on the road. The awesomeness of what BMW has done is to allow customization in what is displayed as well as offering a ton of information. The heads up display includes the following information:
  • Road Speed
  • Road Signs including speed limits and restrictions
  • Navigation Instructions
  • Alerts from the Collision Warning and Lane Departure System
  • Additional check control information from the car

I think this is a brilliant addition and one we should hope to see in many more cars in the future.

BMW 3 Series F30 Heads Up Display


Handsfree Trunk Access

This may seem almost a bit gimicky but you are going to love it when you get used to it. I put this in the same realm as when comfort access was added to the car. Once you have had it and used it, you really do not know how to live without it.

Get access to your trunk handsfree


Lane Departure and Lane Change Warning System

One common theme you will find is that BMW has equipped this car with enough cameras to do a lot of work figuring out what is going on for the driver. The lane departure system activates when traveling over 43mph and warns you when you stray from your lane. It uses image processing to look at lane markings on at least one side of the road in order to make this determination. In addition to cameras, the car also features radar sensors to help you figure out if there are cars in your blind spot.

BMW 3 Series F30 Lane Change Indicators


Active Protection System

There are some positives and potential negatives in our view of this safety system. First the positives. At 11mph, the car will automatically tighten the driver and front passenger safety belts to take up any slack. If a potential collision is detected the car will once again tighten the safety belts as well as closing the windows and sunroof. The potentially negative part of this system is the fact that the car will automatically brake without any intervention required from the driver and slow the car after the initial collision. This is one of those things that sounds good in theory but could also prove to be a detriment depending on the situation you are in.

Active Protection System


BMW Assist Emergency Call

Score one for safety here. The new 3 Series is equipped with crash sensors that pass along crash data to emergency services to better prepare them for the scene they will be arriving at. In addition to making the emergency call (independent of your mobile phone) and passing along the sensor data, a call center agent will be on the line to get any additional information that you can provide to aid emergency services. This can and will be a life saving feature.

BMW Assist Emergency Calling


Rear View Camera and Surround View

I mentioned it before but here it is again; BMW has equipped your new 3 Series with up to five cameras to give you plenty of views around your car. The rear view camera gives you support when parking and letting you know if there is enough room to park your car safely. The option Surround View system adds more cameras including two side view cameras in the front bumper as well as top view cameras mounted in exterior mirrors. Combined these cameras provide you with a 270 degree viewing angle to see everything around you.

Rear View and Surround View


BMW Parking Assistant - Let Your BMW do the Parking

It only makes sense that BMW has added Parking Assistance to the list of features on the new 3 Series. The cameras are there already so why not make things a little bit easier for the driver; especially for those of us who may not be so proficient at parallel parking. The one interesting feature here is that under 22mph the car is actively searching (though this can be disabled) for parking spaces that will fit your 3 Series. Once you find a suitable spot, pop the car into reverse and simply tell the iDrive that you would like to use Parking Assistance. You will still need to use the gas and brake pedals (and keep an eye on the camera view too!) but the Parking Assistant will handle the steering to put you in nice and clean.

Let your BMW do the parking


There is a ton of technology in the new 3 Series and this is just a small sampling. Some of it you are going to love, some of it you will wish never existed and there may be some that you are never even aware of. No one could ever argue that making driving safer is a bad thing...as long as there is still a focus on making it the Ultimate Driving Machine.


What other technology have you seen on the 3 Series that you love or hate? Anything that you are reserving judgement for until you see it in person?
WoW!
All this new & added electrionic tech=how many more trips to the dealer for repairs, lol , bur yeah?
...making long term ownership of car even less likely than ever before
mstrq commented:
October 20, 2011, 12:33 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by SD 335is View Post
You don't think BMW didn't think of this? The Comfort Access key fob has to be within close proximity of the trunk. From the BMW USA Press Release:
"Innovative trunk access makes life a little easier.
BMW ConnectedDrive has come up with another new and intelligent solution that makes BMW cars even easier to use. The hands-free trunk lid opening function available for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan in conjunction with Comfort Access is a first in the premium class. Standing behind the car, customers can prompt the trunk to open with just a short movement of their foot under the center of the rear bumper, i.e. without using their hands. The trunk then automatically unlocks and swings open by spring force. The vehicle is fitted with sensors placed at different heights in the rear bumper trim, which are able to identify a person standing behind the vehicle. The sensors can identify the foot "command" by monitoring the area of the leg between the shin and the tip of the foot. They then send a signal containing special algorithms to the on-board computer. Access is only authorized, however, if the system simultaneously identifies the Comfort Access control unit (the key), which the person must be carrying with them. The trunk lid is then unlocked and raised automatically, without hand contact. Key authorization provides the safeguard ensuring correct operation at all times."
I find it hard to believe that someone wouldn't both hear and see the trunk lid raising if they're close enough behind the trunk to allow the system to trigger. Our car has Comfort Access and while we have to "squeeze" the rubber switch underneath the trunk lid, there is a noticeable motorized sound and a "pop" when the trunk opens. The trunk will probably also make some kind of mechanical sound when it swings open. I'm not at all concerned.
As I was saying in my previous post, you can be standing next to your car with the key in your pocket. Maybe behind the trunk, looking in the opposite direction. If it is a quiet parking lot, sure you can notice the trunk somehow opened. But on noisy crowded busy streets, parking lots, etc.? There is a chance you may not hear the "pop" sound. Chances of things flying or crawling under the rear bumper at that moment are rare. But it still can happen.
whoever commented:
October 20, 2011, 12:41 am

Why can't they add a lane KEEP assist like the Prius, so I can take a nap.
MB330 commented:
October 20, 2011, 11:44 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstrq View Post
As I was saying in my previous post, you can be standing next to your car with the key in your pocket. Maybe behind the trunk, looking in the opposite direction. If it is a quiet parking lot, sure you can notice the trunk somehow opened. But on noisy crowded busy streets, parking lots, etc.? There is a chance you may not hear the "pop" sound. Chances of things flying or crawling under the rear bumper at that moment are rare. But it still can happen.
I think you have to put your fit slightly under bumper - according to picture.
RobertaZ commented:
October 20, 2011, 12:43 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MB330 View Post
I think you have to put your fit slightly under bumper - according to picture.
Can't wait to see what this does to my shoes......
MB330 commented:
October 20, 2011, 3:51 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertaZ View Post
Can't wait to see what this does to my shoes......
If your shoes not look like this one - you don't have to worry....

BMWofBloomfield commented:
October 20, 2011, 5:18 pm

I, like the original poster, LOVE the HUD being fitted to the new 3 as well as it's enhancements!
ThoreauHD commented:
October 30, 2011, 1:46 pm

Will I still be able to take my eyes off the road with iDrive? I don't want to miss out on any safety features while yanking my knob.
Snareman commented:
October 31, 2011, 12:22 pm

Will it have the top down view of the car like the 5er has where it looks like a view from about 50ft above your car?

It would be nice if the nav screen changed from day to night mode when the car turned on the head lights. Especially since the screen is going to be much more exposed now.
LS2 MN6 commented:
October 31, 2011, 4:20 pm

I'm really liking that BMW added HUD to the 3er. It puts the 3 back on my list of cars to look at in 2014. Lets see how the first two years of production shake out.

I'm also digging that cluster.
MikeTerp commented:
November 7, 2011, 8:08 pm

I'm just wondering how "visible" the new Nav screen will be? The E90 is nicely hooded and is easy to view under almost all conditions. The F30's looks like it could be washed out in bright sunshine. I have heard that this screen is "high tech" (right), but will be skeptical until proven otherwise.
mstrq commented:
November 8, 2011, 4:08 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snareman View Post
Will it have the top down view of the car like the 5er has where it looks like a view from about 50ft above your car?

It would be nice if the nav screen changed from day to night mode when the car turned on the head lights. Especially since the screen is going to be much more exposed now.
It will have the bird's eye view camera:

Quote:
The option Surround View system adds more cameras including two side view cameras in the front bumper as well as top view cameras mounted in exterior mirrors.
I'm sure F30 will have auto day/night switch mode since F10 has this feature. But I'm sure it will have a separate light sensor for iDrive screen (even though the headlights are on, the iDrive might be in day mode depending on interior brightness). Not sure how F10 does it, but headlights, interior dials/switches and nav have separate light sensors in Mercedes cars.
SuperTerp commented:
November 8, 2011, 7:41 am

Sigh... Still no word on at least the 600watt sound system and Vent seats
stoneriver commented:
November 11, 2011, 10:50 pm

Would love to see leagal speed verses actual speed displayed on heads up display.
stoneriver commented:
November 11, 2011, 10:56 pm

This is a BMW. If you buy it because the trunk opens or the seats are vented you could save your self a lot of money getting a massage.
SoonerJohn commented:
November 12, 2011, 8:45 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by stoneriver View Post
Would love to see leagal speed verses actual speed displayed on heads up display.
It's one of the available options: http://www.f30post.com/forums/showth...6#post10777506
chuck92116 commented:
November 12, 2011, 9:22 am

Its funny that most of the new features have nothing to do with owning a BMW.

It is $50 bucks in computer chips for most of that nonsense.

It all sounds good, but all that junk can be made in taiwan really cheap and then sold as $5-$10k option packages.

For me owning a BMW still comes down to style, performance, comfort, and handling.
alex_c commented:
November 12, 2011, 9:24 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mstrq View Post
As I was saying in my previous post, you can be standing next to your car with the key in your pocket. Maybe behind the trunk, looking in the opposite direction. If it is a quiet parking lot, sure you can notice the trunk somehow opened. But on noisy crowded busy streets, parking lots, etc.? There is a chance you may not hear the "pop" sound. Chances of things flying or crawling under the rear bumper at that moment are rare. But it still can happen.

No, it does not open by mistake. I have that feature on my 2012 535 and love it. Sometimes my kids are a couple of steps ahead of me to drop their backpacks in the trunk in the morning and try to open the trunk with the "kick" motion. I does not open until I'm right behind them with the key in my pocket. A couple of steps behind is enough to disable the auto open function.
RadioWave commented:
November 14, 2011, 1:27 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex_c View Post
I does not open until I'm right behind them with the key in my pocket.
Silly question but I'm curious how you would describe the trunk opening motion. Is it smooth and controlled or more flying-license-plate-of-death-please-stand-back? I ask because the E60 trunk was more than willing to whack my 5'2" wife on the chin if she stood too close to it. I've gotten in the habit of standing well back of it when opening, certainly farther back than one leg's distance and I'm picturing some sort of "do the hokey pokey" dance when using this feature.
alex_c commented:
November 15, 2011, 12:19 pm

It opens in a controlled slow motion.