In this entry, I will summarize nuances on which I have questions on which I don’t know the answers. As you can guess, the questions are not quite from the list “wow, how cool, how did they manage it?”
It is possible that someone will say – small stuff, but I don’t assume them as small stuff. If you have some (more) suggestions of some similar topics, feel free to comment!
This time the nuances of F32 LCI “stepped on the nerve” – I had the opportunity to drive more with this car. Yes, I have also derived other F series vehicles, but I always try to be correct, say – you have to get used to each car! So there are things to which I couldn’t get used.
The electrical steering gear
BMW has used the electrical steering gear for a long time now. OK, I understand – at the beginning (first generation) was forgivable, that the feeling of the steering wheel was uninformative. But in the Year 2021? Still actual models (just removed from production, SW updates still are issued), the steering wheel reaction curve subjectively seems like V letter. So, if driving the steering wheel turn angle is very small, its reaction is almost 0 even in Sport mode. So there is a feeling that the steering wheel “hangs in the air”. For “usual” steering wheels, the reaction curve more seems like a Y letter. Already by very slight turning of the wheel, the car user feels a certain resistance, which is created by the rub of all running gear mechanisms and levers. This resistance also (in addition) helps to “feel” the steering wheel. One more very peculiar nuance: in Sports mode, this virtual steering reinforcement coefficient is also reduced in speeds, which are close to 0. Accordingly, the steering wheel is “heavy” when parking, turning out the yard, or turning at the intersection. Why? For the “athlete” not to become weak? That is the only explanation; otherwise – somehow “dumb”, it turns out. All this can be changed at the software level, or maybe all others believe that the electrical steering enhancement works perfectly?
A long time ago, I read that the BMW users had problems getting accustomed to the electronic turn switch installed in E6x. Yes, getting used to it takes some time, but then I started to love this upgrade! Yes, now the mechanical turn switch is back. But, oh my! There is a problem. The electrical steering column increases the transmission coefficient – for the user to turn the wheel as little as possible. As a result – in the case of a shallow turn, the wheel should be turned in so small range that the turn switch does not turn off after! Of course, you can get used to everything, but – I’m sorry, it is a fail! This “switch off” angle needs to be electric and adaptive!
The second switch, which was simplified, is the wiper switch. For example, you can not press a switch to activate 1 .. 2 cycles if the switch is in automatic mode. You can not pull the switch to “your side” if it is in the OFF position to activate 1 .. 2 cycles of wipers – at the same moment, the screen wash starts to flow. BMW has saved some EUR. Maybe even two EUR!
NBT EVO ID5
I would like to personally meet those dumbasses, sorry, talented persons, who programmed this “wonder”. What is the problem? Most probably, there are many masterpieces of a similar level, but for me, the wow feeling was created by the first “service” of the USB data carrier.
I am the old-school patient; I prefer that/when/if the music is in my USB flash drives. There are several reasons for it: there are artists (from the strange side) who are not on Spotify. There are times when due to poor coverage of the mobile network, the music should be downloaded on Offline mode to the mobile phone. Store all music on the mobile phone? It does not sound logical to me.
So then I inserted my music into the USB flash drive and started to overlook the content. I choose, for example, Search by Artists. Here, the example:
So: in the album of Andy Moore (as an example), he himself is indicated as the artist, and there are also songs with “guest stars”. All of this can be seen in the long list. When choosing any of these options, the information regarding the album, where the exact “artist” can be found, is displayed. But I CAN NOT choose this album! Only one exact track, whereas the author is the current artist indicated (exactly till coma)! I CAN NOT listen to the whole album also! Also, all songs of the exact artist, if they are located in different albums, I CAN NOT listen! The worst thing is that in the current menu, there are no UP/DOWN options available! It would be enough if, with pressing, for example, UP, menu indication would move to the name of the album and allow to choose it, and, if for example, DOWN option would allow choosing all songs of the exact artist. But – no, nothing like that! Do really the developers himself enjoy this creation?
I thought that maybe the following trick would work: I choose the song, then move to Search by artist (or vice versa – at first Artist, then – song). If the Search “cursor” would correspond in both menus, maybe I somehow can get to playback of the album or all songs? NO! And NO again! The Search option in these menus is completely unrelated and starts from “beginning” each time! For example, Search by tracks numbers arranges all 2000+ songs by names (for example, doing it completely “dumb” – no track number is dismissed, all other redundant symbols as ”_/.” and similar ones are dismissed, plays all songs exactly by this order – “by the name”. And again – I CAN NOT choose the exact Artist, not an album, although they (as if inactive) are nicely displayed on the screen. Do only I believe that the functionality of this menu is invented by “geniuses”? And that’s in the Year 2020! The software upgrade is done at the end of Year 2019! BMW – aren’t you ashamed of it?
Here, an example. I choose the composition of Andy Moore + guest artist. NBT generously allows me to choose what to play: the album or the song. I choose the album. But then come to the surprise – not all album is played (all songs nicely copied in one folder), but only that one current composition! No other compositions in this album!!!
And here another example:
It does not even matter that I have to get to playing the exact composition: the fields of Artist and Album are inactive! I CAN NOT choose to play the current album, nor all compositions of the current artist. Either there will be that one song played 100 times a line or all 2000+ compositions “by the name”, it means, in a complete mess. As you see in the image, NBT has selected compositions whose names start with 03. It does not understand that it is a tracking number. No, everything is as by programmers – no derogation! To those who don’t understand the thought – each composition in this list is a work of another artist. As you see, there are the names of compositions, but ZERO additional information (even one chosen by the cursor – no artist, no name of the album DOES NOT SHOW in the list!). It means I have a list with 2000+ songs, WITHOUT any additional information. Say – wanted by the name of the composition – here you go!
All search menu pointers are lost whenever I have, for a moment, switched to another menu. For example, I switch to Navigation map return to the Search menu – the equipment has forgotten all history!
I have to admit – even the pre-historical CCC is not so “dumb”. On the background of it, it is a pleasure to use CCC!
And yes, the data structure in my USB is straightforward: Artist name/Artist name + Album/Songs. Exactly so simple!
But I already hear the first skeptics protesting – c’mon, it’s enough about audio issues! No problem – let’s switch to navigation! I swear, I was not specifically looking at 1 of 1000 cities, which can not be found swiftly. These were my first 5 minutes with the excellent NBT EVO.
At first, the indication of the common direction is gone. That was a mega feature of CCC. You can not follow the exact indications of the navigation, but you know if you are driving in the right direction or are going in the wrong direction.
OK, I tried to use the Auto-zoom option. 8 from 10 cases, on the screen the common trip (if you don’t have to perform any maneuver). But, at least 20% of Auto-zoom failed. Why? Obviously, an excellent job of programmers.
Also, the Perspective view option did not get better with “Perspective view”. Instead of perspective view (which is actually present in CCC) is as if a slightly tilted map, which top part does not correspond to the meaning of perspective. And one more nuance, which has to be taken into account – the top part of the map is compressed approximately 2 times (to get a “perspective” feeling), but it means that the scale, indicated for a map, does not correspond to the truth in the middle part of it. The mistake is around 50%, or: 50km in the NBT screen are 75km. Sometimes it can mean much.
It’s the Year 2021. But in turning in the opposite direction, nothing has changed for this mega product since first navigations. If even CCC showed the U turn sign, this:
Outside the settlements, you can drive for miles in the wrong direction without knowing it!
Even more – if the magistral road, which by default is colored in red, becomes white in part, on which you have to drive by it, then with local roads everything is bad. They are white by default, and only a slightly thicker contour says that you have to drive on them.
How to know that you have to turn back? Here, the red dot! Oh, not turn back, but turn to the right? Here, a slightly thicker contour. Does it seem very convenient for someone? Really?
The largest BMW fans will protest – it can NOT be SO bad! I admit it was the “Alternative view”. What other options are available? “Standard view”. How does it differ? With a route in blue. And that’s it. I remind you that this is not the Alpha stage project when the development team has decided in the meeting: “well, here we will have a choice if bulletpoint. 3+ views. For now we have one, second – coloring the route, well, you know – we will fill it later!” No, this is a ready product!
One more “pleasant” nuance – 2 “universal” buttons, one from which was by default navigation voice information, from the steering wheel has disappeared. If before you could switch off the “intrusive lady” and ask for help just in case of need, then now… Now you have to listen to the advice all the time!
At the same time, there are two unused buttons on the steering wheel.
Yes, there are reserved for the adaptive cruise. But – do really the distance till the vehicle in front should be changed so often? Idea – no, I’m too far from the car in front for 5 seconds, let me get closer!
My first attempt was to input the final destination. I choose the country: Poland. Input: “Katovice”. No results. Impressive. Input: “Katovi”. No results.
Now it’s the place for remark. CCC performed search directly (parallelly to the input of the text), which means – if suddenly, when in routing the text, there are 0 results, I understand, that the last letter was invalid. In the case of NBT EVO search is started only after input is completed (after pressing OK), which means – I don’t know, when/if I make a mistake in any letter.
And finally – in CCC, not only names of cities and places were input not only in their “original” languages, but also in “foreign” ones too. For example, Warszava, Varšava, Warsaw, etc.
OK, when I understand that I can not deal with the input, I open Waze. Waze immediately understands my “Katovice” and say’s that it can lead me to “KatoWice”. It is clear my mistake – in Polish, it should be written with W, not V.
I input “Katowice”. Here the results:
What, please? Why am I led to some places like Katowa, Katowicka (not even Katowice) street ( I assume there are a million places like that), not displaying the direct match at the first line?
I scroll the next results…
Scroll lower. What, please?
Katowice is indicated some 15 times. And then next 15 times, with + 1km distance:
In total, Katowice is displayed 30+ times in 50 results with these 2 distances. What kind of circus is this?
Here, also such results are displayed:
And again, the old story about: in CCC, is both Katovice and results in one piece.
OK, even if BMW were too “lazy” to combine maps of different languages, there should be at least some elementary things:
a. Linguistic substitutions. It means: people typically input destination names by audial memory. It, instead, means that such ‘’KatoVice/KatoWice’’ or ‘’BiAlistok/BiElistok/BiAlistoCk’’shoyuld be recognized!
b. In the input result, false letters should be predicted. For example, each 5-th letter could be false. Both linguistically and +/- one position on the “wheel”/alphabet (the driver can skip the letter when using the wheel while driving);
c. Doubling names/inputs/results should be filtered/grouped. 30+ identical results – it’s not even funny anymore. It is shame!
NOTHING of this is present in the 5th(!) generation of BMW navigation! Gentlemans, how much do you charge for this product? 2000 EUR? 2500 EUR?
I will say honestly: during this trip, for the part of the time I detected the direction by following the sun (!), later – was having fun, how the NBT was “performing”. An epic experience!
50 shades of grey
Actually, his time the interior is red, so correction: 50 shades or red. You don’t have to be daltonic to see that the shade of the interior differs for different parts. And there you can not blame any cleaning agents etc. At the same time – check the quality of the interior. A pleasure to enjoy! This is the car in the price category of 60’000 EUR! Additionally, the largest part of the mismatch of the parts can be solved by the constructor’s table. Even if the manufacturing equipment is so inaccurate that they can not deal with 1mm mistakes…
Here, the detail is not “composed”, is “slightly” of a different shade.
See, how these parts “pass “!Perfectly! Here – in, there – out. Three parts, 3 shades, and factures of red!
Here – the design masterpiece! Here we have anodized aluminum. Polished aluminum. Matt plastic. Piano imitation (or who know, what), again plastic. Then a piece of rubber can be seen. Then two parts, each in a different shade of plastic, with different fracture of the surface. And, where you see:
Indicator of Start/Stop system
Now in short, regarding ergonomics. For example, in front of the indicator of switch-off the Start/Stop system are two obstacles (sounds cool, no?): the steering wheel and the wiper switch. At the same time – in the instrument panel of the NBT screen, this indicator is NOT doubled! Maybe the BMW employees would like to demonstrate how-to they themselves make sure, in which mode is the Start/Stop system? I would love to see it! Actually, this is not the first fail in such a situation. A very similar situation there already was with driving wheel heating for E6X and F1X cars. Different in each of them, but at the same time – “successfully” enough.
Do you see the Start/Stop switch and indicator? No? But they are here!
It is possible that I am special. Possibly I have different feet than the other people. If so, please, let me know. Description of the problem is following – the accelerator pedal is “too light”. It means: its resistance power – is too low. I don’t have to press it, but – when driving evenly, I have to strain the leg to avoid pressing the pedal too much. Yes, I understand – the shoes are different: lighter and heavier. There are different seating positions. I’m 1.90m long, the seat – in max low and max far position. I agree that such “light” accelerator pedal also gives the feeling that the car is “light”, it accelerates “without any strain”. I remember – for the first electrical accelerator pedals, the manufacturer installed back pressure curves; obviously, they were thinking regarding this aspect. My subjective feeling says that the resistance power reduces with each following generation of cars.
Yes, the situation is better in the “Comfort” mode because then DME changes the curve in such way that the range of low and average load is “stretched”. But also, then the leg gets tired.
Possibly, someone will say – use the cruise control! Yes and no. In longer drives, quite often are stages, when driving with cruise control is not a comfortable solution, because the speed of the car flow changes all the time. Another aspect – using of the cruise control does not improve the safety of the traffic at all (the drives significantly “switches off” from riving, and the reaction time becomes longer).
In my opinion, the fundamental solutions would be either adaptive “stiffness” of the accelerator pedal or at least setting sin NBT menu. One servo motor, one spring, one driver for the motor. Costs – several EUR. Too expensive!
This is a part that “makes my ears bleed” in all possible BMW models. Yes, also in the expensive setups, including BO, L7, and other miracles. Also, F32 is not an exception. There will be a separate entry regarding this, but in short – such (pathetic) level shows disrespect for the users of the car. So simple. Yes, you can oppose that many requirements are higher than of the average user. Yes, already starting from my first car, in all of them have been the custom installation projects, for last 15+ years: SQ competition level installs. But now, from a position of a simple user, I would like to know – how comes that in cars with 3 .. 5+ lower price the sound is much better? BMW – how comes?