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5-Series (E12,E28, E34, E39, E60) Chat relating to the BMW 5-Series of all generations. Specific models include: BMW 518, BMW 520, BMW 520i, BMW 530i, BMW 528i, BMW 530i, BMW 518i, BMW 524d, BMW 525i, BMW 525e, BMW 528e, BMW 540i, BMW 535i, BMW 520d, BMW 525td, BMW 525d, BMW 530d, BMW 525i/xi, BMW 530i/xi. (BMW 5-Series Forum)

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Old 08-08-2004, 07:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anybody have the Heads Up Device? Am ordering a 2005 545I and am still wondering whether the HUD is anything more than a gimmick. All you can project on the windscreen are your speed and the left side of the Nav screen. Also can show data related to the Adaptive Cruise Control settings if you have that option.

Would appreciate hearing from anyone who has this option.
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Old 08-08-2004, 10:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I find the HUD very useful when using Nav (which I use more often than I expected to). HUD keeps me up to date on the next turn along with the name of road to turn onto. When driving in the city where turns keeping hitting you, HUD is especially helpful.

Is it worth it? For the way I drive I would say yes.

I've posted some pictures of HUD in action (some are blurry, so be warned). Click here:

http://www.bmw-forums.com/forum/inde...howtopic=11015
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Old 08-09-2004, 10:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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KSZ, thanks very much for the input. It appears that the only NAV function the HUD shows are the direction of the turn, distance to turn and name of the street you are turning into. It doesn't seem to display the other data from the right side of the NAV screen (i.e., distance to final destination and name of current road). Correct?

Do you feel HUD makes you a safer driver having the data right at eye-level in front of you rather than you haveing to glance at the NAV screen? Similarly, do you find the speed indicator useful?

Assume the HUD images are visible in all sorts of lighting conditions. Correct?
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Old 08-09-2004, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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There's the rub. If you put too much information in the HUD, it becomes a distraction and takes more time for the human eye to find exactly the information it is looking for. This is why multiple colors combined with a minimalist design makes BMW's implementation so effective. It gives you everything you need to navigate the streets more safely, and nothing you don't. Time to arrival, distance to arrival, and other information is good to have, but does not enhance driving safety.

As for speed display, if HUD is on, I never glance at the speedometer! I'll glance at the tach (I've got a manual transmission), but the speedometer becomes redundant. That is why I keep HUD turned off when I'm not using the Nav -- you could say I'm old fashioned and like to see the analog speedometer, just as I prefer my minimalist-design analog Swiss watch to a digital techno-overkill. There was a time when it seemed every other car manufacturer was converting to all-digital dashboards, but that trend expired quickly.

In any event, having Nav and cruise-control information holographically projected does, in my opinion, enhance safety. Voice command on iDrive further enhances safety. For example, I might be listening to the radio and I'll say:

"Frequency 88.5"

and then go back to the roadmap display by saying:

"Map, direction of travel"

or

"Map, facing north".

If you use HUD and voice command (and voice command works best when you speak clearly and AT A NORMAL CONVERSATIONAL RATE -- don't speak slowly) you can keep your eyes on the road indefinitely.
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Old 08-09-2004, 01:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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KSZ, it looks like you've got the same car I'm ordering except mine will be Olivine Green which is actually a sort of tan. I'm getting NAV, fold down rear seats, SP (this is now an option in the 05 six speed), Cold Weather package and also MT. And, based on what you've said, the HUD.

Thanks for the advice and I'll send you a picture when I pick it up (Munich in early October).

One other question, with Vocie Control, can you input destinations into the NAV system, e.x., verbally instruct the Nav system to direct you "Home" (so identified in your stored adressesses). I downloaded the owners manual but it is very vague on this point.
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Old 08-09-2004, 02:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good question. Short answer: no. Voice command does not let you enter destinations or select from a list of named destination. A Honda commercial I saw recently featured a driver who asked the navigation system to find the nearest Chinese Restaurant, and the system obliged. I hope a firmware upgrade from BMW will at least allow us to verbally pick from a list of named destinations, and eventually ask to find:

1. Nearest gas stations
2. Nearest lodges or hotels
3. Restaurants by type
4. Etc.

The DVD-based nav system has a very comprehensive database of restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and various public places (e.g. parks, convention centers, airports, museums, etc.).

You've opted for European Delivery! I visited the BMW building in Munchen (Munich) a few years ago, which includes a multi-story museum showcasing the history of BMW and a video that tempts you with BMW's future projects. The videos change, of course, every so often. The one I saw in the mid 1990s showed BMW efforts to monitor traffic congestion and provide the driver a known-good alternative route. In that video all the taxi's (and only the taxi's) were Mercerdes Benzes. A little domestic rivalry.

By the way, the people on this forum are going to hold you to your promise of posting pictures! If BMW allows you to take pictures of the factory, we hope you will post a few photographs of that as well!

It's exactly 4 months and 1 day since I took delivery of my car, and I'm still thrilled with it. The ride has become more supple after break-in and I've fully adapted to the sweet spots of the manual transmission (minimum of 3000 rpm gives the smoothest, silkiest shifts; shift from 1st to 2nd is best and most predictable at 3500+ rpm).
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Old 08-09-2004, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My wife has a '04 TL--which has the BEST NAV on the planet by far: it has something like 7 million points of interest: it's like having a Yellow Pages in your NAV---you can find your destination also by putting in a phone number or via Voice-command or via touch-screen. Acura (and Lexus) has NAV, Voice-command and Blue-Tooth which are far better than BMW's.......BUT, my Bimmer is still a helluva lot more fun to drive!
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No contest. The TL NAV is superb and far superior to the BMW system. The Jappanese beat the Germans at ergonomics all day. Witness the Bimmers cupholders and the much maligned and wildly unintuitive iDrive. But I'm buying a car for its handling and feel not for the gee gaws and whim whams on the dash board.

And, get a load of this. The dealer has informed me that BMW will NOT provide a Europe DVD disc for me to use driving around over there. I get a US one when I get home but I'll be DVD blind in Europe. Supposedly because the disc is so expensive ($160). I'm buying an $1800 navigation system and they can't trust me to borrow a DVD disc.

Go figure.
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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During a trip to Japan a few weeks ago I was in a taxi that contained what I thought was the most spectacular navigation system on the planet --

Imagine a bird's eye perspective of the streets, complete with wireframe outlines of all the buildings drawn to scale and lightly shaded. You see not only a 3-D view of the streets, but also of the buildings around you and ahead of you. Think back to the ending of the first Star Wars movie (Episode IV) where Luke and buddies fly through the valleys of the Death Star before launching their photon torpedo (or whatever the heck that was). For another analogy, imagine a DOOM3 type of virtual reality model minus the ultra-slick image processing.
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Old 08-09-2004, 06:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hmmm... kinda ironic... I fly on KC-130J's for a living... we use those for the PFD... or primary flight display up front for the pilots.... its a great invention.. and I'm not surprised to see BMW following its roots. Nice car... absolutly beautiful.
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Old 08-10-2004, 06:36 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's another question. What about rear seat side impact airbags? They're an option but it seems to me they are worth the money. I don't routinely have passengers in the back seat but I sometimes do and it seems like airbags are a very good idea.

Any reason not to have them?
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Old 08-10-2004, 04:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If you seat children in the back seat that are below are certain age or under a certain weight, do you need to turn the rear airbags off?

I haven't seen crash safety studies on rear airbags, but you might want to search the net -- perhaps Consumer Reports (http://www.consumerreports.org) or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov).

I did not order rear side-impact airbags; it was an economic decision and keep in mind that the new 5 series has both front and rear head-protection system as standard equipment -- airbags at and above shoulder level as opposed to torso-level.
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Old 08-11-2004, 05:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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ksz, thanks for the insight. I checked out the NTSA web site and learned that cars with side bags that include head protection have reduced mortalities by 45% but those with only torso protection have only lowered the number of deaths by 11%. From these statistics I gather that adding the bags only improves safety for rear seat occupants by 11%. So, I'll probably pass on them since I don't have rear seat passengers very often.
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Old 08-11-2004, 11:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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This is good information! Thanks for taking the time to look it up.
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