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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > ConnectedDrive / I-Drive / Navigation Related Discussion > BMW Navigation System Can't Tell Time



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      01-08-2010, 11:21 PM   #1
jeffnin
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BMW Navigation System Can't Tell Time

So, I'm on my 4th BMW with Navigation, and the latest hard drive based system is acting very strangely. While I absolutely love the improved response time from both iDrive and Nav now that it's hard drive based, I'm having issues with it calculating Estimated Arrival time.

I drive the same routes all the time and have compared the old DVD based system with the newest one and have found that it doesn't appear to take the Average Speed into consideration when determining the Arrival Time at destination.

Case in point, I'm driving to a destination this evening that is 21 miles away. I'm driving surface streets with speed limit of 50 to 55. Upon starting navigation, the system estimates that I will arrive in 54 minutes. This is insane, 54 minutes to drive 21 miles with no traffic warnings (see pic #1).

I managed to snap two other pics (sorry for bad quality, but all I had was my iPhone). With approximately 10 miles to go, the arrival time shows 27 minutes. To make matters worse, the final pic shows me at 6 miles to go, and the arrival time actually increases by 10 mins.

In the past 2 BMW's with navi, the arrival times have always been spot on. Can't understand if it's a software issue or the new Nav software provider (no longer NavTech) is to blame. FYI, my actual arrival time was 6:24pm and the system began to quickly scrub off time within a mile of my destination.

I've experienced similar timing issues on other trips both surface and highway. FYI, I've also reset the Avg Speed on the Car Data screen to insure that my avg speed wasn't wrong.

Anyone else with an 09-10 hard drive based Nav having similar issues???
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      01-08-2010, 11:28 PM   #2
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that is not really a glitch. you see, teh computer has no clue as to what and when you're going to get there. there are so many variables and so many stops. It can't predict the future whether or not a car in front of you will slow you down or whether or not there are 10 more stoplights. seeing how there are so many odd curves in that last destination, it is calculating based on the assumption of how long you took to make those turns previously.

the arrival time estimation would usually be calculated based on:

1. the distance to the point
2. how many turns,intersections, and stops there are,
3. how fast you're going on average
4. how fast it would take to get there with no traffic averaged with how fast you're going now

you see, the computer is constantly calculating based on so many conditions given.
the fact that you took "that long" from 21 mi to 9.9 mi in that time frame .. that variable value is then re-calculated into what it believes it will take to reach your final destination.

again, if you somehow hit 120MPH and are able to make it there... half way thru that course, the system will re-average and recalculate your conditions. it is only calculating based on the given variables.

The software really is just an equation. The equation is defined:
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      01-08-2010, 11:35 PM   #3
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I understand your logic, however, it doesn't explain why my past 3 BMW's with DVD nav calculated arrival times correctly 90% of the time. With the new hard drive based system, I've been using it for past 2 months since I got my car and it's never correct at predicting arrival. Why would one system using a DVD work almost every time, while the "latest and greatest" is not? It's almost like the average speed is not updating quickly enough for the system to calculate.
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      01-08-2010, 11:54 PM   #4
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Cant tell you why its happenign but I have a 2010 and my time is pretty much dead on but it also recalculates as I go. It will tell me a ceratin time based on 55mph and I do 85 and I arrive a few mins early(short drive). Try bringing it to the dealership and see. Maybe its a software glitch
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      01-09-2010, 12:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnin View Post
Anyone else with an 09-10 hard drive based Nav having similar issues???
Yes. The closer I got to my destination, the more accurate it's ETA was. Which I guess makes sense since I'm closing in on my destination.

And it does bother me as much as it does yourself.

What's odd though, is before I actually start moving, the ETA is fairly accurate. Once underway, the ETA goes haywire.

P.S. The ETA does not act in this manner at all times. But like you, my E46's M3 navigation was never hours off it's mark, like this system sometimes is.
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      01-09-2010, 12:14 AM   #6
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Well, at least I'm not alone. I guess if I didn't have as many previous experiences with BMW navigation working correctly, it wouldn't be as much of an issue. What bugs me is that if I'm driving to an appointment, I used to be able to accurately predict my arrival time; with this new system, it's anyone's guess. I too, find that before I start moving, the time is accurate, but once rolling, even on an open 65-70 mph highway, it's always 15-20 mins off. Perhaps I should just drive the crap out of the car and enjoy it without worrying about what time I'll arrive.
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      01-09-2010, 03:12 AM   #7
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My ETA is almost always dead-on

Unless the freeway is empty and I start hitting 80-120mph...

then I can usually beat the ETA by a few minutes

but otherwise, it'd pretty good
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      01-09-2010, 08:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnin View Post
I understand your logic, however, it doesn't explain why my past 3 BMW's with DVD nav calculated arrival times correctly 90% of the time. With the new hard drive based system, I've been using it for past 2 months since I got my car and it's never correct at predicting arrival. Why would one system using a DVD work almost every time, while the "latest and greatest" is not? It's almost like the average speed is not updating quickly enough for the system to calculate.
I concur with your observations. I've had:

'98 540i with Mk II NAV
'03 M5 with Mk IV NAV
'08 X5 with previous gen. iDrive NAV

all of those did a great job in estimating arrival times on both short and long trips and were seldom off by more than a few minutes.

My current '09 M3 is terrible at calculating arrival times and is off as much and as often as you described.

Mike
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      01-09-2010, 10:23 AM   #9
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I just drove about 1348 km with my new 335d (photos incl. photos of nav system and trip reports all here) and the system was spot on. It recalculated appropriately when mountain passes slowed me down as well as when I was going about 240 km/h.
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      01-09-2010, 11:14 AM   #10
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maybe it had something to do with the slow jazz that you were listening to?
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      01-09-2010, 11:45 AM   #11
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I thought of that and that's why I quickly switched back to Howard Stern, but the time actually increased when I did that
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      01-09-2010, 11:05 PM   #12
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Might is spot on, and recalculates the further into the trip as my average speed goes up.
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      01-10-2010, 12:21 AM   #13
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my current 07 idrive nav is very good at time except for long trips. I drive to houston from austin in exactly 2 hours. The nav always starts out with 4 hours and gradually homes in..besides this long trip, its always perfect with short trips!

I wish i had new idrive though...look cool!!
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      01-12-2010, 01:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnin View Post
I understand your logic, however, it doesn't explain why my past 3 BMW's with DVD nav calculated arrival times correctly 90% of the time. With the new hard drive based system, I've been using it for past 2 months since I got my car and it's never correct at predicting arrival. Why would one system using a DVD work almost every time, while the "latest and greatest" is not? It's almost like the average speed is not updating quickly enough for the system to calculate.
+1 +1
Many times I see the ETA drop 10 minutes when I am about 1 mile away from my destination. This is for short trips (<20mi). My MY2006 nav never had the problem this severe. It may have to do with NavTeq vs. TeleAtlas. I never though I'd be wishing for NavTeq maps again!
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Last edited by DJHakim; 01-12-2010 at 09:50 AM.
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      01-12-2010, 02:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfarnkopf View Post
maybe it had something to do with the slow jazz that you were listening to?
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      01-13-2010, 04:36 PM   #16
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I had a MY99 540i with MkII navigation, and now a MY09 335i with new i-Drive. I commute about 20 miles every day. I also noticed immediately when I got the new car that the new nav is less accurate in predicting arrival times.

What I used to find with my MY99 was that I would have to add about 2 minutes to the arrival time. With the MY09, it overpredicts my last mile of travel by about 5 minutes.

Other than that, I haven't found the MY09 to be massively off on it's predictions - just in the final mile or two.

I don't know, but my guess is that the older nav systems may have relied more on your average speed, while the new one weighs more on assumed speeds for the road types it's seeing on your remaining journey? With the massive increase in computer power, you'd think it could do a much more sophisticated calculation these days - ironic that so many of us feel that it's less accurate than the older system....

Having said all of that, don't feel TOO bad. It's still vastly superior to the "arrival time prediction" in other cars family and friends own. A two year old Honda with nav will over predict a long drive by about two hours (i.e. a driver that will actually take 7 hours it will predict will take 9 hours, and this error continues essentially for the whole trip) - it doesn't use current or average driving speed at all, and instead uses a fixed assumed highway speed (I haven't been able to determine exactly what that speed is). A five year old Infinity a friend owns doesn't use average or current speed, but instead lets you choose an assumed highway speed. This is worse than it sounds, because (presumably for legal reasons) you can't choose a speed above 70 mph for the calculation.

Hopefully the arrival time calculations will be refined by BMW in the new i-drive software over time and we can receive them as nav system updates. Even the archaic MkII nav system received several software updates to the nav system that improved navigation calculations and operation over the first few years....
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