agzand
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:00 pm

BMW i3 was ahead of its time AGAIN!

Wed May 26, 2021 12:31 am

Tesla recently disclosed that they will use a vision only system for their Autopilot (basically dropping the radar). New Honda models will also rely on a vision only system for adaptive cruise control. Looks like most manufacturers are shifting toward a camera based adaptive cruise control which is fundamentally similar to what i3 had since 2013 (albeit it is better due to several generation of improvements).

Now I cannot tell if it has anything to do with chip shortages, but looks like this is the future for mainstream cars.

eNate
Posts: 767
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: BMW i3 was ahead of its time AGAIN!

Wed May 26, 2021 6:25 am

That cool! Except in BMW's case they proclaimed "Camera only!" and closed the i3 design book forever.

Tesla's bold proclamation was "No LIDAR!" They're at 8 cameras per vehicle, used a powerful Nvidia graphics processor as a place holder while they designed their own silicon, and continually tweeked their design until they had data to show that the radar was mostly redundant and could be removed from the 3 and Y.

Tesla never shut their design book. That's the kind of forward thinking I wish the other makers would adopt.
2 0 2 1   B M W   i 3   1 2 0 A h   B E V  O a k l a n d
 Wokeby Trunk Extension | Duosida 16A L1 EVSE
 SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack

Deutsch100
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2019 2:28 pm

Re: BMW i3 was ahead of its time AGAIN!

Wed May 26, 2021 7:31 am

100% eNate. Just think how amazing the great in 2014 i3 was could be if BMW continued to make big changes up until 2021. Yes, we all appreciate the battery jump from 60 to 94 to 120...but almost everything else is unchanged. The i3 could have actually been a Tesla competitor instead of a beyond niche toy car ;)
2020 i3S Rex; Capparis White

agzand
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:00 pm

Re: BMW i3 was ahead of its time AGAIN!

Wed May 26, 2021 10:16 am

Well yes, obviously BMW has systems that are much more competitive with Tesla autopilot, but they don't offer them on the i3. It is easier to invest in a car that sells 300k a year vs. a car that sells 30k a year. Their problem was that i3 was introduced in the wrong market segment. It should have been a compact hatch instead of a super mini (e.g. VW Golf size). If it was the proper size BMW could sell enough of them to justify investing in the platform. However, one could argue that they didn't want to sell that volume of EVs in expense of their more profitable ICE models.

But in general everyone agrees now that other manufacturers who relied on suppliers for their technology missed the boat on autonomous driving and electrification. They think this is a long game and no single manufacturer can dominate the market in the long run, so it is not a winner takes all situation.

eXodus
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 6:06 am

Re: BMW i3 was ahead of its time AGAIN!

Wed May 26, 2021 12:37 pm

agzand wrote:
Wed May 26, 2021 10:16 am
Well yes, obviously BMW has systems that are much more competitive with Tesla autopilot, but they don't offer them on the i3. It is easier to invest in a car that sells 300k a year vs. a car that sells 30k a year. Their problem was that i3 was introduced in the wrong market segment. It should have been a compact hatch instead of a super mini (e.g. VW Golf size). If it was the proper size BMW could sell enough of them to justify investing in the platform. However, one could argue that they didn't want to sell that volume of EVs in expense of their more profitable ICE models.

But in general everyone agrees now that other manufacturers who relied on suppliers for their technology missed the boat on autonomous driving and electrification. They think this is a long game and no single manufacturer can dominate the market in the long run, so it is not a winner takes all situation.
BMW should have followed through with the initial plan and sold i3s directly to consumers without going through the hesitant dealers under their own i-sub-brand. Like they are doing with Mini.

You can see pretty obvious that the i3 was not designed with the BMW logo in mind :P Just remove the batch from the trunk - put in a different hood and tada - you got a different brand.

alohart
Posts: 2432
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 7:36 pm
Location: Honolulu, HI

Re: BMW i3 was ahead of its time AGAIN!

Wed May 26, 2021 2:16 pm

eNate wrote:
Wed May 26, 2021 6:25 am
Tesla's bold proclamation was "No LIDAR!" They're at 8 cameras per vehicle, used a powerful Nvidia graphics processor as a place holder while they designed their own silicon, and continually tweeked their design until they had data to show that the radar was mostly redundant and could be removed from the 3 and Y.
"Mostly redundant"! If radar's not totally redundant, it needs to be kept if there's any hope of truly safe autonomous driving. Tesla used to promote how cool its radar is because it can detect vehicles ahead of the one immediately ahead by bouncing radar off the road under the vehicle ahead. That gave the collision avoidance system an earlier alert that traffic ahead was decelerating or stopped. Radar could also detect vehicles and obstacles ahead that are obscured by fog or darkness. These significant advantages of radar are almost certainly lost with an all-vision system that cannot see through the vehicle ahead, fog, or darkness.

Certainly Tesla is aware of these radar advantages and apparently thinks that an all-vision system can overcome these advantages. I'll be paying close attention to how this seemingly impossible feat is accomplished.
Aloha,
Art

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

eNate
Posts: 767
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: BMW i3 was ahead of its time AGAIN!

Wed May 26, 2021 4:12 pm

They've indicated they'll disable certain autonomous features with this change. Who knows how much it cost cutting, versus feature differentiation from the X and S, versus hardware and software advancements they've made.

I'll tell you this: radar plus the single camera on my ID.4 is butter compared to the i3. But I also don't believe Tesla is in the business of subtracting from their pursuit of self driving, so I expect they're not trying to spin a feature reduction for something it's not.
2 0 2 1   B M W   i 3   1 2 0 A h   B E V  O a k l a n d
 Wokeby Trunk Extension | Duosida 16A L1 EVSE
 SeaSucker Monkey Bar Roof Rack

agzand
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2020 3:00 pm

Re: BMW i3 was ahead of its time AGAIN!

Wed May 26, 2021 7:45 pm

eNate wrote:
Wed May 26, 2021 4:12 pm
They've indicated they'll disable certain autonomous features with this change. Who knows how much it cost cutting, versus feature differentiation from the X and S, versus hardware and software advancements they've made.

I'll tell you this: radar plus the single camera on my ID.4 is butter compared to the i3. But I also don't believe Tesla is in the business of subtracting from their pursuit of self driving, so I expect they're not trying to spin a feature reduction for something it's not.
It is not a cost cutting thing, I think they don't have the chips that go into the radar. I think they cannot ship the cars with radar at this time. Obviously this is just a guess and I have no proof.

Return to “General / Main i3 Owners Forum”