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      05-04-2017, 12:43 PM   #1
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Video: infotainment head-to-head - BMW vs Audi vs Mercedes

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      05-09-2017, 01:58 PM   #2
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TBH audis mmi and bmws idrive are top notch systems, audi is tech advanced while bmw does the job seamlessly quick it lacks a tad bit in terms of tech.
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      05-09-2017, 02:00 PM   #3
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Mercedes' dual linked screens are looking impressive but UI is so bad. Audi' virtual cockpit is better than BMW's digital dash but centre screen is too small and bad. Bmw is still the best in avg
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      05-09-2017, 02:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by stvding View Post
Mercedes' dual linked screens are looking impressive but UI is so bad. Audi' virtual cockpit is better than BMW's digital dash but centre screen is too small and bad. Bmw is still the best in avg
I would rather BMW invest in an industry leading heads up display UX than a digital dash. Last thing I want to do is get suck staring at my gauges because all my info is there.
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      05-09-2017, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goj View Post
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Originally Posted by stvding View Post
Mercedes' dual linked screens are looking impressive but UI is so bad. Audi' virtual cockpit is better than BMW's digital dash but centre screen is too small and bad. Bmw is still the best in avg
I would rather BMW invest in an industry leading heads up display UX than a digital dash. Last thing I want to do is get suck staring at my gauges because all my info is there.
Agreed. The digital dash is no doubt a nice evolution of the standard dials but once you drive a modern BMW with HUD, you realize how much better of an option of it is vs. looking at the cluster that I would prefer BMW to keep improving it and leaving the cluster the way it is in digital form.
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      05-09-2017, 02:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBingoBalls View Post
Agreed. The digital dash is no doubt a nice evolution of the standard dials but once you drive a modern BMW with HUD, you realize how much better of an option of it is vs. looking at the cluster that I would prefer BMW to keep improving it and leaving the cluster the way it is in digital form.
It's referred to in the aviation world as becoming a "HUD cripple." That is, once you've flown a jet with a HUD (let alone landed one without and then one WITH a HUD on a ship) you can't live without it. There's a reason the aviation industry is putting them in passenger and cargo planes now.

I agree, though: BMW would be wise to continue to improve and refine their system. I wonder two things, however... 1) what regulations or restrictions the DOT has on HUD information (i.e. How big can the display be, what information, etc) and 2) if the all autonomous driving excitement these days is pulling R&D funds away from HUD development.

Finally, it takes a bit of a scan to fly a plane with a HUD (learning to look both AT the info and THROUGH the HUD symbology because it's a continuous feed of information directly in one's line of sight). This may be why the automotive industry keeps things on such a smaller scale (and not DIRECTLY in the line of sight of the driver) as compared to the aviation world. I find myself wishing the information was in front of my eyes looking at the road ahead of me vs low like it is. First-world problems...

Just a thought.
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      05-09-2017, 02:51 PM   #7
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I couldn't care less (or more) about a HUD. I actually much prefer not to have it. Is it really much harder to see speed display from a quick glance & must you know your speed ALL the time? Exception being for navigation but Google Maps on phones is so good & you can always mount it accordingly in the dash to your liking.
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      05-09-2017, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBingoBalls View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by goj View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
Mercedes' dual linked screens are looking impressive but UI is so bad. Audi' virtual cockpit is better than BMW's digital dash but centre screen is too small and bad. Bmw is still the best in avg
I would rather BMW invest in an industry leading heads up display UX than a digital dash. Last thing I want to do is get suck staring at my gauges because all my info is there.
Agreed. The digital dash is no doubt a nice evolution of the standard dials but once you drive a modern BMW with HUD, you realize how much better of an option of it is vs. looking at the cluster that I would prefer BMW to keep improving it and leaving the cluster the way it is in digital form.
I really like audi's "tacho at middle, 2 info screens on the sides" layout. Speedo is very redundant and unnecessary nowadays b/c of hud". I would like rpm in hud too for normal car not juts m car
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      05-09-2017, 03:15 PM   #9
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I'm generally in agreement with this review. BMW 1, Audi 2, and Merc 3. To me, all Audi needs is a more visually appealing interface, better map graphics and more info in their HUD. I think they'd then surpass iDrive due to better MMI functionality and their terrific virtual cockpit. Merc has a great HUD. Maybe better than BMW, but their interface is just sad. It hasn't significantly changed in almost 10 years. That's an eon.

In terms of the HUD conversation, I'm firmly in the pro camp. I ordered BMW's very first one on a 2004 545i. I bought it thinking it may be a fun little toy, and immediately realized that it's a huge safety feature. I think the only thing that BMW's HUD lacks is a tach, which has been nicely implemented on GM's systems as a ring around the speed readout. I don't know why BMW hasn't done that yet. But imo, if BMW added that, all that would be needed is an ancillary screen in front of the driver with warning lights, distance to empty, odo, etc.
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      05-09-2017, 03:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raysspl View Post
I couldn't care less (or more) about a HUD. I actually much prefer not to have it. Is it really much harder to see speed display from a quick glance & must you know your speed ALL the time?
If you've had as many speeding tickets as I've had and been to driving "school" as often as I have, the answer would be a resounding YES YES YES!
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      05-09-2017, 03:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
I really like audi's "tacho at middle, 2 info screens on the sides" layout.
That is a very nice setup in Audi's S models, but oddly, you can only configure the left side. On the right side, you're stuck with time and date, and nav arrows when active. Merc has a similar tach in the middle layout, but you can configure both sides with their system.
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      05-09-2017, 03:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hinckley View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
I really like audi's "tacho at middle, 2 info screens on the sides" layout.
That is a very nice setup in Audi's S models, but oddly, you can only configure the left side. On the right side, you're stuck with time and date, and nav arrows when active. Merc has a similar tach in the middle layout, but you can configure both sides with their system.
I saw a photo of rs3 that has performance data on the right. Just for RS line?
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      05-09-2017, 03:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by hinckley View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
I really like audi's "tacho at middle, 2 info screens on the sides" layout.
That is a very nice setup in Audi's S models, but oddly, you can only configure the left side. On the right side, you're stuck with time and date, and nav arrows when active. Merc has a similar tach in the middle layout, but you can configure both sides with their system.
I saw a photo of rs3 that has performance data on the right. Just for RS line?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hinckley View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
I really like audi's "tacho at middle, 2 info screens on the sides" layout.
That is a very nice setup in Audi's S models, but oddly, you can only configure the left side. On the right side, you're stuck with time and date, and nav arrows when active. Merc has a similar tach in the middle layout, but you can configure both sides with their system.
Like this
Hp/torque meter, g meter
Last month I drove a s4, can't get these performance data to display
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      05-09-2017, 03:36 PM   #14
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Digital dash is utterly useless for taller people - for me upper half of the gauges is blocked by steering wheel in most cars. I hate raising the steering wheel because that screws up my driving position. HUD is perfect, they need to offer it in every car, and bring more info to it. I wish BMW HUD had turn signals.
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      05-09-2017, 03:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
I saw a photo of rs3 that has performance data on the right. Just for RS line?
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
Like this
Hp/torque meter, g meter
Last month I drove a s4, can't get these performance data to display
Yes, that is an RS-only feature. Too bad. It's really nice.
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      05-09-2017, 03:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
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I wish BMW HUD had turn signals.
They can be programmed. I had HUD turn signals on my M5 and plan to have it done on my incoming 440.
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      05-09-2017, 03:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hinckley View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
I saw a photo of rs3 that has performance data on the right. Just for RS line?
Quote:
Originally Posted by stvding View Post
Like this
Hp/torque meter, g meter
Last month I drove a s4, can't get these performance data to display
Yes, that is an RS-only feature. Too bad. It's really nice.
Wondering if there is a coding solution for that just like we code our BMWs
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      05-09-2017, 03:48 PM   #18
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Well I can tell you that on 2015 and 2016 models the HMI of BMW pretty much sucks. WAYYYY too many steps to perform easy tasks. Picking music for example. You scroll up hit artist, scroll to your artist and press the roller, then instead of of seeing all the songs from that artist noooo you have to scroll down to the bottom to hit "songs" THEN you will see all the songs. Just one example but its just too much looking at the screen and not enough looking at the road.
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      05-09-2017, 03:51 PM   #19
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Below is a pic of Merc's tach in the center display. And if you haven't seen the new Porsche Panamera's digital cockpit, google it. It's amazing. They've kept a traditional analog tach in the center and there are two displays on each side that can be individually customized (or combined). Oddly enough though, Porsche still doesn't offer a HUD.
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      05-09-2017, 03:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Wondering if there is a coding solution for that just like we code our BMWs
Good question. You can code Audis like BMWs (it's called VAG-Com), but I haven't seen a solution for that screen yet. It may just be a matter of time though before someone figures it out.
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      05-09-2017, 04:42 PM   #21
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Do the Audi and Mercedes HUD show your music playlist or radio stations like the bmw one?
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      05-09-2017, 04:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hinckley View Post
I think the only thing that BMW's HUD lacks is a tach, which has been nicely implemented on GM's systems as a ring around the speed readout. I don't know why BMW hasn't done that yet. But imo, if BMW added that, all that would be needed is an ancillary screen in front of the driver with warning lights, distance to empty, odo, etc.
My M3's HUD has a tach. All of the new M models have it. It's an option in the HUD menu, select the "displayed information" setting, and then select the "M View".

Only downside to the M View is you lose navigation, phone, and cruise control info in the HUD, but instead you have a big huge tach along with your current gear and MPH.
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