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  #1  
Old 08-21-2006, 02:28 PM
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Thumbs down X3 Nav Professional MKIV should be called Nav Dummy

X3 Nav despite good processor speed, dead reckoning and some how easy-to-use functionality does not seems to be as professional as is called. I'd like to see in future development:

Create waypoint (or marks) using coordinates (degrees, minutes, seconds)
Chance to have track (to track-back mainly in non-road navigating)
A way to choose POI without categorizing (some times is difficult to find a POI in a specific category)

So, I propose for now Nav Professional to be called Nav Dummies (means, for dummies to operate). Itís true BMW core business is the vehicle technology thatís why all electronics stinks: Nav, radio, MD, Bluetooth phone. All too basic for such a technological advanced car. But I expected BMW to joint-venture with cutting edge electronics suppliers.
Don't be sad, I find my self also a dummy dealing with BMW poor equipment .
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2006, 03:13 PM
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Well... The X3 can only get the electronics from the E46 platform. So I guess it is limited technologically.

With that said, BMW has taken many of the comments generated in the 90's & early 00's about it being technically behind, which is why I think BMW went overboard with the current new-gen of BMW cars (the barrage of iDrive, active steering, HUD, etc...).

Its damn if you do, damn if you don't. No-one seems to like either approach that BMW has taken...
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:50 PM
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I'm sorry but I'd prefer a million times the X3's Navi Professional than any iDrive system, and it's not even either because I have a X3 nor because I hate Microsoft stuff (iDrive is Microsoft Windows CE powered, in case someone isn't aware).

BMW, for me, is like the Apple of cars - when you sit on your driving position, everything "feels right", meaning that everything is easy to use, quick to access (particulary important when one is driving and can't give too much attention to the system), and "just works" as one would expect. When one presses the gas pedal, one expects the car to accelerate. Simple.

When I've test drive an 3-series E90, I felt scared with the iDrive system - it felt utterly awful, overcomplicated, crashy/buggy, and I was sure I would quickly crash myself with the car on the first time I would try to use the iDrive and get so lost in its menus that the car would steer out of the driving lane. All the bad stuff I can now find on the X3, plus the bad stuff of the idrive.

A good example is the joystick - anything can be done with a simple joystick - rotate left, right, press, and main menu. iDrive consists of rotate left+right, press, plus move up/down/left/right, plus the same main menu. Sometimes one goes back via menu, sometimes via left move, sometimes via back button on the screen. WFT??

I do advocate that cars should have more powerful technology inside (maybe only on the entertaiment side, but that's another story), but only if they are kept simple and efficient and consistent to the rest of the car - specially on a brand that sells itself as "pleasure of driving".

What pleasure can one take from a future car that would stop itself randomly in the middle of the highway, or that requires one to press twice the gear pedal, change gear, and then another time the gear pedal, one break, and full throttle, to increase the gear ? )))
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2006, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmoura
I propose for now Nav Professional to be called Nav Dummies (means, for dummies to operate).
I am in the other camp, but it helps to have some history...

There are some very impressive things to consider about our nav systems. First, did you know that BMW introduced this system in 1995. That was the MKI system, and it is the same basic architecture that you have today in the X3.

Name any other auto manufacturer with navigation in 1995. In fact, there were only one or two aftermarket nav systems available in 1995. BMW caught the auto industry on its heels big time with navigation. It was many years before any other auto maker introduced a comparable system. Did you know that Audi did not put a color navigation system into the A8 until the 2004 model year? It took Audi 9 years to catch up to BMW

Second, the basic architecture of the MKI is still quite viable today with the MKIV system. BMW's original nav architecture is nearly 12 years old, yet it is still as capable (and better in many ways), than other systems on the market. Very few technologies last 12 years. I have used Honda, Lexus, Audi, and Mercedes Benz systems, and the BMW MKIV system competes well with those.

If I could pick and choose, I would take the way-point and route management available on an Alpine aftermarket unit, the touchscreen address entry of the Honda system, the joystick control of Mercedes Benz's old ML series, and BMW's graphics presentation (paired with Honda's immediate turn instruction graphics). But, since it is the graphics that I look at most, I would pick the BMW above all. No one else has anything that compares to the Perspective view.

In my opinion, you have to go to an aftermarket system designed for a nav/audio enthusiast, before you get the features on your wish list. Alpine has been doing that stuff for 5 years, but no auto maker has dared introduce it into a factory system.
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2006, 12:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-bmw
I am in the other camp, but it helps to have some history...

There are some very impressive things to consider about our nav systems. First, did you know that BMW introduced this system in 1995. That was the MKI system, and it is the same basic architecture that you have today in the X3.

Name any other auto manufacturer with navigation in 1995. In fact, there were only one or two aftermarket nav systems available in 1995. BMW caught the auto industry on its heels big time with navigation. It was many years before any other auto maker introduced a comparable system. Did you know that Audi did not put a color navigation system into the A8 until the 2004 model year? It took Audi 9 years to catch up to BMW

Second, the basic architecture of the MKI is still quite viable today with the MKIV system. BMW's original nav architecture is nearly 12 years old, yet it is still as capable (and better in many ways), than other systems on the market. Very few technologies last 12 years. I have used Honda, Lexus, Audi, and Mercedes Benz systems, and the BMW MKIV system competes well with those.

If I could pick and choose, I would take the way-point and route management available on an Alpine aftermarket unit, the touchscreen address entry of the Honda system, the joystick control of Mercedes Benz's old ML series, and BMW's graphics presentation (paired with Honda's immediate turn instruction graphics). But, since it is the graphics that I look at most, I would pick the BMW above all. No one else has anything that compares to the Perspective view.

In my opinion, you have to go to an aftermarket system designed for a nav/audio enthusiast, before you get the features on your wish list. Alpine has been doing that stuff for 5 years, but no auto maker has dared introduce it into a factory system.
This so true. Thanks for the great post.

I'll add a couple thoughts...

- It took MB many many many years to actually come out with a color screen too. MB was stuck with a 1" screen in its high end lineup for a good number of years before they finally offered a 7" color screen around the turn of the century.

- I think Nissan is the other manufacturer with a perspective view...

BMW has led the industry again with iDrive. Like it or not, everyone is doing it. Many people categorize iDrive as being hard to use or a nuissance right off the bat, when many people don't sit down and use the system for 10 minutes. Contrary to what people might tell you, it is very intuitive and is not very hard to master at all. The iDrive controller even provides force feedback - feedback you can recieve without even looking at the screen which is much safer than listening for clicks...

My point is, that iDrive gets much more slack than it deserves. Mostly due preconcieved notions from the automotive press and through word of mouth. If people actually spent the 10 minutes it takes to understand the system they'll realize it really isn't that hard to work at all.

On the flipside, there is room for improvment (BMW seems to be listening (iDrive is now on its 3rd revision). BMW also should not have based their system's OS on Windows CE - at least iDrive would crash a lot less...
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Old 08-22-2006, 08:38 AM
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Thumbs up

Good point on the Nissan nav. I have never seen any of Nissan's nav products. Time for a test drive...

Also, you made me think of one other killer feature on the BMW nav system-- seamless integration with the phone. So far, I have not seen another system anywhere that does this. Say you search the database for a restaurant. If you click on the phone number from the nav screen, the computer will dial your phone automatically. How cool is that. I have used that feature on road trips a number of times.

Last, you are right about the iDrive thing leading the world. The one place where BMW probably got beat there is Audi's MMI. I test drove an Audi A8 last week, and their MMI smokes everything else on the market. The key is that they surround it with several function buttons (Radio/Nav/Setup/etc.) to avoid a number of knob clicks, and the system has a "Back" button. A buddy of mine with a 550i loves his iDrive, and his single complaint is that it needs a Back button to be perfect.
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2006, 09:29 AM
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Bluetooth integration within NAV screen is great but if you have, like 250 contacts with home, mobile, business, other. Instead of search for the name then, for the phone destination (business, mobile, etc...) it splits in numerous contacts hard to reach. Less expensive systems like Parrot simply implement this feature already. So my question is why does BMW doesn't use less expensive and more powerful solutions?
It's true BMW pioneering NAV system one board and again dead reckoning is for sure one of the big strengths today. But I still believe a lot more should be done. Like in BMW motorcycle NAV solution, itís a high-end Garminís equipment with all features included.
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmoura
Bluetooth integration within NAV screen is great but if you have, like 250 contacts with home, mobile, business, other. Instead of search for the name then, for the phone destination (business, mobile, etc...) it splits in numerous contacts hard to reach. Less expensive systems like Parrot simply implement this feature already. So my question is why does BMW doesn't use less expensive and more powerful solutions?
It's true BMW pioneering NAV system one board and again dead reckoning is for sure one of the big strengths today. But I still believe a lot more should be done. Like in BMW motorcycle NAV solution, itís a high-end Garminís equipment with all features included.
But your comparing BMW's old-gen navigation system (which unfortunately the X3 has - or fortunately in other's cases). iDrive is where BMW's latest technology is at today...
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