eNate
Posts: 662
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:56 am

I'm fairly impressed with the navigation in my i3. I have the "Real Time Traffic" system up and running. I've been running BMW nav side-by-side with Google or Waze and the ETAs are relatively consistent between the systems, even if the routes vary. So I throwing that out there to establish that BMW's nav is traffic aware and generally accurate.

But when BMW nav is set to "Eco Pro Routing," (so not the fastest or shortest route, but the most battery efficient way to go), I've noticed what I think are deficiencies. For instance:

If the freeway is backed up, BMW nav will continue to route me on surface streets, even if it means a 10 minute time penalty. In reality, the freeway is moving as slowly as street traffic. A clogged freeway seems to me to be something Eco Pro Routing should seek out and embrace.

Same situation, but instead of traffic, substitute topography. I have a stretch of freeway near home a bit more than a mile, flat at first then lightly descending, followed by a mile on the street to the house that generally flat with a mild but steady climb at the end. But BMW nav prefers to exit me from the freeway a mile+ early, That route is about a mile shorter, but involves more stop and go on the side streets, plus steeper hills and about double the elevation gain. It *seems* to me the longer route might be more battery friendly, though I can't say that with certainty.

Has anybody seen a technical explanation of how BMW nav Eco Pro Routing chooses the preferred route. Does it take traffic conditions into account? What about topography? Or controlled intersections (i.e. predicted starts and stops)? Is there any machine learning going on, where the system communicates route data back to BMW so it can improve efficient routing over time?
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nickp
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Re: Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:25 am

If you are not paying for this real time traffic update then it's OK i guess. IMHO, the BMW software that comes with the car is a joke. For example, my fully charged car shows a 78 mile range. I set a destination in the car's Nav and the GMO now all of a sudden after 4 miles of driving shows a range of 52 miles. WTF?

Like I said, it's OK if it's free.

jadnashuanh
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Re: Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Fri Sep 27, 2019 11:13 am

The nav system does have slope and speed limit information in it, so that is taken into consideration when calculating a route. Unlike an ICE where it tends to waste a moderate amount of fuel idling and acceleration, an EV is more efficient, and has the benefit of recouping some energy when you have to stop again unless you drive it like an idiot and slam on the brakes at the end rather than utilizing as much of the regen capability as possible. Drag goes up in a non-linear fashion, too, so depending on the speed limits (and real speed achieved), you might be able to go significantly further at a lower speed than the shorter, higher speed route.

The range guessometer is just that, and it's based on the last 18-miles of your driving UNLESS, you put a destination in the nav system, it has no way to know if the future miles will match the previous usage pattern or not...it makes the assumption which could be way off. I've seen my estimated range make jumps both ways. I've driven as much as 12-15 miles, and not have the estimated range go down, and conversely, I moved my car from a heated garage indicating one range, left it parked outside overnight so I could put my ICE in the garage, and in the morning (it was cold out), the range had dropped over 10-miles. I attribute that strictly to the difference in temperature since the car was only moved 50' and HVAC impact was almost non-existent. Note also that ambient temperature can have a big impact, and an especially large one if you have a REx and it's quite cold out. Using resistance heating on a cold day is way less efficient than cooling or using the heat pump on the BEV, and will radically affect your actual range. Worst case scenario, lots of short trips where the vehicle cools off to ambient in between legs when it's really cold out. Reheating the cabin repeatedly from ambient will radically affect your range. Remember, resistance heating (the BEV has that as a backup for when the heat pump can't keep up), uses one watt capacity to provide 1 watt of heat. The BEV's heat pump can extract in the order of 3-4 W of heat while using 1 W of battery power...it does make a difference.

My ICE's estimated range to empty has shown similar radical changes...it's not limited to an ICE. Come home after a long interstate road trip, and fill the car...it might indicate 550-miles to empty. Drive it around home for a couple of days for maybe 15-miles or so, and it could then drop over 25%. With still over 300-miles left before empty, most people don't think much about it...but that same percentage on an EV seems radical, but it's not.

One needs to adjust your expectations when dealing with this different technology...EVs are a new world. Over time, your expectations and reality will converge, but it can take awhile. Some people never learn, though.
Jim DeBruycker
2014 i3 BEV, 2021 X5 45e
(The i3 will be sold soon, <17K-miles, interested?)

nickp
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Re: Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:11 pm

Speaking of the GOM, I've often heard and read that it's based on the last 18 miles or so. That is absolutely not true. At least in my observation. I drive back home from work, a total distance of 18 miles. Stop and go. Plenty of regeneration. I am happy because when I park the car, it shows I still have a good 60 miles of EV left. Great. I get back in the car an hour later, weather conditions are still the same and the GOM now shows I only have 52 left?
I know I am not at all dependent on the GOM but just saying.

The software interface and UI are a joke. The Germans will NEVER get it. Drive a KIA and you'll know what I mean. Very intuitive. While I love the HK system on hte car and wouldn't buy the I3 without one, I hate the overall speed. It takes its sweet time to go through folders. Also it does not have the option of playing through folders. The stupid thing stops after playing files in one folder.

The Germans should outsource this part to Korea or Japan!

alohart
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Re: Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:14 pm

eNate wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:56 am
I'm fairly impressed with the navigation in my i3. I have the "Real Time Traffic" system up and running. I've been running BMW nav side-by-side with Google or Waze and the ETAs are relatively consistent between the systems, even if the routes vary. So I throwing that out there to establish that BMW's nav is traffic aware and generally accurate.
My experience with RTTI and route selection in our 2014 i3 has been the opposite of yours. RTTI should really be called Outdated Traffic Information because RTTI rarely displays current traffic information in Honolulu. It's so outdated that rerouting is frequently unnecessary or should have occurred but didn't. I have never encountered an accident or obstacle in the road ahead after being warned by RTTI, and I have encountered accidents and obstacles about which RTTI did not warn me. I don't plan to resubscribe unless it improves considerably which hasn't occurred in almost 5 years.

Route selection is poor. The i3's nav can't even choose a correct route to the Honolulu International Airport from the east ignoring the main airport exit off our "interstate" highway instead routing ~5 miles out of the way through the nearby Hickam-Pearl Harbor military base on slow surface roads.

It also does not route correctly to our apartment directing me to turn left at one intersection before the correct intersection on a route that is significantly farther and no faster. When I ignore this incorrect turn, its new route instructs me to turn left one intersection past the correct intersection which is a route at least 2 miles out of the way. The correct intersection is a major intersection of a 6-lane highway with a 4-lane road with 2 left turn lanes, so it's not some insignificant intersection that nav might not know about. After I ignore this second route suggestion, the third route suggestion is correct.

None of the alternative routes is correct in these two examples. Why even bother using nav when its route suggestions are so poor?

I had hoped that updating nav's maps might fix the routing problems. The map version currently installed is the current map version, 2020-1. Unfortunately, routing hasn't improved with newer map versions.
eNate wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:56 am
Is there any machine learning going on, where the system communicates route data back to BMW so it can improve efficient routing over time?
BMW's software doing machine learning?! Bwa-ha-ha! You must have an overly-optimistic and unrealistic opinion of BMW's software engineering skills. If the nav software had any intelligence at all, it would have noticed years ago that when I drive to the airport or especially to our apartment, I always ignore the suggested routes and always choose the same best route. Intelligent software would have learned about my preferred routes, how much time and distance my routes saved, etc., and would have learned to suggest my routes instead. This hasn't happened after 5 years. Maybe the nav software is a slow learner.

I have never regretting purchasing our i3 ~5 years ago. However, as a retired long-time software engineer, my opinion is that its software, in general, is not impressive.
Aloha,
Art

2014 BMW i3 Arravani Grey, Giga World, Tech + Driving Assist, Parking Assist, DC Fast Charging, JuiceBox EVSE

nickp
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:40 am

Re: Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:03 pm

I don't know but looks like BMW used all the leftover Intel Pentium Processors in the I3. From 1994! :)

eNate
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Re: Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:37 pm

Isn't the operation of the map server outsourced by BMW?

When I was suggesting back-end machine learning, I'm not thinking of Waze-like personal route preferences, but more of an overall collection of driving data to continually refine a database of what any particular route segment's driving efficiency is? Well... Waze does this, too, but only insofar as recording speed and distance data, not battery data.

I hear you guys on the Nav. The BMW traffic data seems up-to-date in my region (SF Bay Area), and like I say, predicted ETAs have been within a minute or two of Maps and Waze, even if the routes aren't exact matches. But I know this data is collected from a variety of resources, and its accuracy is going to vary depending on region.

I do wish we'd get to the point that Android Auto (I suppose Apple Car Play, too) can pump raw nav data into a vehicle's system for routing, but allow the user to use the vehicle manufacturer's map.
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MKH
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Re: Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:08 am

As far as I can research, BMW's maps are from Nokia, who bought out Gate-5's 'smart2go' mapping software, and reworked it into what they called 'Ovi Maps'. Nokia also bought out Navteq, and Ovi Maps/Navteq became Nokia Maps, which they then re-branded as 'HERE" maps, and HERE WeGo.

HERE was then bought from Nokia by a consortium, which the main shareholders are Audi, BMW, and Daimler. Other minority shareholders are Intel, Bosch, Continental, and Pioneer.

HERE supplies Nav maps for Acura, Audi, Buick, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda Hummer, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mercedes Benz, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Pioneer, Pontiac, RAM, Saturn, Subaru, VW.
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

eNate
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Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:59 am

Good info! Thanks.

My 13 Audi allroad features a lovely Google Earth overlay on the nav, and the current generation of that series has a fantastic full-dash Google Earth layout "underneath" the guage cluster display. I was mortified when I heard the news that Audi was going to transition away from this in favor of this other system, which I'm supposing is the one you're describing.

And yet, even with that much industry buy-in, I'll probably continue to rely on my phone when want navigation done right! It's a shame. But there's no doubt the auto companies are improving.
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vreihen
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Re: Navigation: Eco Pro routes, and BMW's paramaters...

Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:59 am

I tried to use the factory NAV in my car three times in Eco Pro mode. The first time was when I was bringing my car home from purchasing it on Long Island, when the traffic subscription was still active. It persistently tried to route me into the heart of midtown Manhattan AT RUSH HOUR to avoid a 5-minute delay on a loop road around the city.

The second time was two weekends ago, when I was going over near the US Military Academy at West Point for an EV show. It either did not know that Storm King Highway (cliff road that has been the scene of many car commercials) was a through road, or else it thought that the road was a restricted military area. It was by far the flattest, shortest, and most "Eco Pro" route, yet when I was three miles from my destination it was still yammering on that I should make a legal U-turn when possible and go back 10+ miles to take the longer road over the mountain. No traffic subscription any more, and I didn't see a single car on that stretch of the road.

The third time was last weekend, going to another EV show at a historical site mansion. The NAV system couldn't find it by name, and again kept yammering on about making a legal U-turn when I was driving the most direct and "Eco Pro" route...and the road has existed since FDR was in the White House.

Needless to say, I'm not going to spend any money on a traffic subscription or maps updates to have a dumb computer keep telling me to make a legal U-turn every time that I try to use it.....
2015 BMW i3 BEV, Giga World, Tech and Driving Assistant packages, 15K miles

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