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Discussion Starter #1
The 2017 X5 40e is on my short list. I have some questions about how the X5's semi-autonomous driving electronics actually work in real world conditions. I've been researching all the latest tech across all the manufacturers and even within the BMW line, it's kind of confusing which car has which feature. ACC Stop & Go, Active Driving Assistant, Driver Assistance (Plus), Night Vision, Parking Assistance.

X5 cannot auto steer to stay in the lane at any speed, correct?

When using ACC and the driver manually taps the pedals, what happens to ACC? Does it switch off until it is manually turned back on, or does it resume automatically once the driver stops pressing the pedals?

When not using cruise control, will the collision avoidance system still automatically bring the car to a complete stop? Does it work at any vehicle speed or just city speeds?

How well does the collision avoidance system differentiate between an obstacle that is: a person, deer, dog, basketball, flying plastic bag, heavy snow?

Can Parking Assistance get into a tight parallel spot (< 2 ft greater than vehicle length)? Does also work for backing into a narrow straight in parking space?

Which driver aids create driving problems and have to be deactivated in crowded city driving e.g. NYC?

Any other tips or observations about the modern tech would be great, thanks.
 

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Genius

I would strongly suggest you get these answers directly from BMW either through a visit to a dealership or through a call to their "Genius" group.

If you get a wrong answer from a non-expert and rely on that wrong answer, you could cause damage or personal harm.
 

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The 2017 X5 40e is on my short list. I have some questions about how the X5's semi-autonomous driving electronics actually work in real world conditions. I've been researching all the latest tech across all the manufacturers and even within the BMW line, it's kind of confusing which car has which feature. ACC Stop & Go, Active Driving Assistant, Driver Assistance (Plus), Night Vision, Parking Assistance.

1. X5 cannot auto steer to stay in the lane at any speed, correct?

2. When using ACC and the driver manually taps the pedals, what happens to ACC? Does it switch off until it is manually turned back on, or does it resume automatically once the driver stops pressing the pedals?

3. When not using cruise control, will the collision avoidance system still automatically bring the car to a complete stop? Does it work at any vehicle speed or just city speeds?

4. How well does the collision avoidance system differentiate between an obstacle that is: a person, deer, dog, basketball, flying plastic bag, heavy snow?

5. Can Parking Assistance get into a tight parallel spot (< 2 ft greater than vehicle length)? Does also work for backing into a narrow straight in parking space?

6. Which driver aids create driving problems and have to be deactivated in crowded city driving e.g. NYC?

Any other tips or observations about the modern tech would be great, thanks.
I put numbers on these to respond... was hoping someone else would also respond with some feedback. You will also likely want to do extensive research on these to make sure they do what you want. I will answer what I can.

1. Correct, X5 does not steer back into lane to correct. It just vibrates the steering wheel to alert you. no auto correction.

2. I have this feature but have not used it yet. There are several here that have used it and maybe they can help you. Have not had to take a long trip in my X5 yet.

3. No, the car will not be stopped automatically if not using ACC with stop N go (The specific cruise control that stops). No other feature brings the X5 to an automatic stop.. with the exception of the frontal collision avoidance features that are able to stop a vehicle travelling at "a slow speed" which is not really defined. I believe this would be around 5-10MPH tho

4. Have not tested this (and will not be "testing" it sorry)

5. dont have parking assist. I use the top view camera to park, but I also try not to park on city streets as it is not a necessity where I live (unlike it is in NYC or San Fran)

6. Dont drive in crowded city streets a lot but I find lane departure assist annoying. Other than that, I leave everything on.

Observations:

You have specific questions you want addressed, so I would make sure I did extensive homework on them. BMWs systems are not teslas (and some other manufactures). Personally, I dont WANT the car auto steering back in lane, as I have heard of people who have that feature on their cars have issues with the car trying to gently steer them on offramps etc, because thats where the lines are going (one example).

I dont WANT the car braking hard for me completely autonomously as I would be wary of false positives, and having the car THINK it saw something that was not there, and randomly slamming on the brakes because it thinks I am too close to the car in the next lane (I remember reading someone having that issue online somewhere... could have been here on bimmerfest in fact).

I like BMWs systems the way they are personally.... but you have personal requirements that you will need to really evaluate to see if this is the right car for you.
 

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I have DA and DA+ on my 2016 X5, but not the Adaptive Cruise Control/Stop N Go.

I have not gotten any definitive answers about emergency stopping. There is a feature that applies the brakes hard and fast if you hit the pedal hard - I have tried that and it works. I have not, and will not, test the collision avoidance features any further.

The lane departure warning is a bit annoying, and I don't find it to be a useful feature. Maybe that is because I am an old fogey and wander around the road all of the time.

The blind spot monitor and the vibration warning is very helpful.

The park assist is pretty cool. It does take some practice. I don't know how large of a spot it needs, but if the computer does not think there is enough room it will not execute the maneuver. It does cut in very, very close to the car ahead of your spot, even if the parking spot is large. It is a bit scary at first, but I have not hit anything in the few times I've used it. I am happy that I included it in my order.

I use the top view for angled parking or for perpendicular parking. I even use it to tell when the back of my car is all of the way inside my garage. It is very helpful. It will turn on automatically if you get close to an obstacle (like the edge of the garage door) or you can turn it on with a button on the console. You cannot turn it on if the car is already in reverse, though.

One of the neatest features is the speed limit detection. The cameras are looking for speed limit signs, and show the posted speed limit in the HUD. It will not distinguish between a special speed limit, such as a school zone where the lower speed limit applies only when the lights are flashing. For some reason it does not work well on the freeway in Oregon - it keeps bouncing up and down.

I declined the night vision. I could never get a really good description of how it works in the USA. It sounds like it works better in Canada and in Europe, but some aspects are limited in the USA.

I did upgrade to the LED lighting package, and am glad I did. The automatic high beams work well, and the lights are bright. The anti-dazzle and the adaptive headlights are disabled (decoded) in the USA, but there may be ways to get those features working again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
These replies are really helpful, please keep posting them.

I'm really on the fence about ACC. My daily driver has old style radar cruise control which maintains distance, but will not apply brakes to slow the car. I never use it. So I'm wondering if I get ACC will I ever use it?

Meanwhile, Night Vision is really appealing to me. We have deer over population around us. Not many hunters.
 

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Night Vision was appealing to me too. As best I could tell, the implementation in the USA works only in the dashboard display. The system will not display the warnings in the HUD. At those times I am driving and need night vision, I will not be watching the dashboard.

It seems that other countries, like Canada, can have the night vision warnings pop up in the HUD. One fellow in the southeast posted that he gets deer icons flashing in his HUD, but all other US responses to my questions indicated otherwise.

That may have changed, or I could have gotten it wrong, so use my comments with caution.
 

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Just a vote on ACC: I've become rather a fan although I didn't expect to. With old style cruise control, it was pretty useless if there was significant traffic. With ACC, you just decide how fast you'd drive with no traffic and set it at that speed. It does a nice job of smoothly modulating your speed to track a car in front, handles people changing into/out of your lane quite well. I think BMW's implementation is impressive.
 

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My understanding of ACC with SNG is that it will bring the car to a complete stop from high speed even if not using cruise control at the time.

See pages 122, 123 and 124 of the 2016 X5 manual.
 

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JM71, I don't really know. The manual does a very poor job of explaining these features. I suspect that this reflects a deliberate decision by BMW, since they probably are tinkering with this stuff all the time.

I'll offer two incidents, for what they may be worth:

Recently, I was stopped in traffic, and let the car roll very slowly forward toward the car in front. My car stopped, on its own. Well, the car in front had a small, very low-slung trailer attached, which I had not seen. This probably saved me from a very minor but annoying incident. Alas, I don't know whether ACC was on or off at the time, although it certainly was not actively controlling anything.

Also, while driving through a small town at maybe 30 mph, the car applied the brakes, fairly hard, for maybe a tenth of a second, as I was passing a parked car on the right. My line of travel was fine, not taking me anywhere near the parked car. I assume, but don't know, that the car briefly thought that the parked car was a threat but quickly changed its mind. In about a year of driving, that is the only such weirdness that I have experienced. I'm pretty sure ACC was off. Certainly, it was not controlling my speed.

Finally, I accidentally tested the brake assist feature a couple of times. This being the feature that applies max braking force when it decides that you are in an emergency stop situation. Neither instance was a real emergency, but I can tell you that it really slows you down, could perhaps be a life-saver in a real crunch. The impression I have is that the algorithm that activates this feature takes into account both how fast and how hard you hit the brake, and that it also takes note of how much pressure you continue to exert on the pedal. In both cases, the period of intense braking was very short, a fraction of a second. I'm sure that I eased off the brake immediately, since I thought "whoa, I don't need this." Basically, I'm fine with this feature, although one might nit-pick about how easily it is invoked. The two reservations I have are 1) don't activate it while drinking coffee, and 2) I wonder what would happen on an icy road. The manual says that all the anti-lock and stability control features remain active, but I don't want to test those statements.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Night Vision was appealing to me too. As best I could tell, the implementation in the USA works only in the dashboard display. The system will not display the warnings in the HUD. At those times I am driving and need night vision, I will not be watching the dashboard.

It seems that other countries, like Canada, can have the night vision warnings pop up in the HUD. One fellow in the southeast posted that he gets deer icons flashing in his HUD, but all other US responses to my questions indicated otherwise.

That may have changed, or I could have gotten it wrong, so use my comments with caution.
I ended getting the full Monty: DAP, ACC, Night Vision. It has radar, camera, IR camera and maybe even laser. Because of this it's difficult to know which electronic system is doing what actions. 2017 has an upgrade to iDrive 5. It's possible that past version were slightly different, but this is what I've experienced myself driving the car.

Last week I was driving around 40 mph in the rain and the darkness of early dawn (everybody on the road had headlights on). A small deer darted across the road from left to right probably less than 10 yards in front of the car. I did not see it until the car alerts went off. I braked hard and avoided the collision.

- Red deer symbol appeared in the HUD and dash.
- I was not looking at the screen at the time so I don't know what was displayed there. Night Vision was operating even though I do not believe I had the camera picture on screen.
- The alert sounded
- It happened very fast so I don't know if the car applied any autonomous braking.
- When my foot went to the brakes it felt like there was no slack in the pedal. It's an X5 40e plug in hybrid so usually the first stage of the brakes is regen before the calipers clamp. It felt like it went directly to calipers. Probably pre-primed.
- The brake pedal resistance was greatly reduced. The pedal went straight to the floor with very little effort and I think ABS activated. Probably brake booster.
 

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I have a 2017 X5 with DA, DAP and ACC. In one of the posts above, it says that the car will not stop autonomously unless ACC is actively engaged. I can definitively say that is not true. A few weeks ago, with ACC completely off, I was crossing through an intersection when a car two cars in front of me stopped suddenly to enter a gas station, causing the car immediately in front of me to stop quickly. I did not think it was a true emergency and was still evaluating whether I was going to apply brakes or steer around the situation. Before I formed my own conclusion, the car quite drastically applied full braking power. I know others have said this before, but, man, that is a lot of braking power--more than I have experienced with my own foot on the brake pedal! It's drastic, throws you in your seat, and makes a slight metal grinding sound. In my case, it left me a little vulnerable at a complete stop in the middle of the intersection. I pressed the gas to start forward travel again (by that point, the car two up had turned off the road into the gas station and the car in front of me had started to go again). On the one hand, I was impressed with the car's ability to stop itself and to recognize (somewhat) of a situation ahead. On the other hand, it's just proof that it's hard for any car to take into all of the factors that a human driver would (e.g., there were no side sensors in the car to inform it of the fact that cross traffic could have been coming through the intersection in which I was sitting).

I should note that I had the car set to "medium" for frontal crash warning. I changed it to "late" after that incident.
 
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