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      01-03-2013, 12:10 PM   #23
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Quite unfortunate. As others have said, nothing can substitute for your own eyes sadly - I am wary to trust my sensors entirely - altho I havnt had them in the past so perhaps I need to get used to them! lol

I would guess that the post was just in the wrong place and between two of the sensors arc of view - although I would have expected them to crossover at some point and therefore pick it up - not like its a thing metal post - appears quite chunky!

That said, after having a quick read of the linked thread it appears some people have had problems with lag so it may be worth getting the car in for a check of the sensors sensitivity
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      01-03-2013, 12:17 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
PDC is only a driving aid, not a substitute to using our driving skills. Not sure BMW are to blame, unless the PDC definitely doesn't work. Even then how can a user prove it is BMW at fault after the event?
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I agree with Pete.

No offence to any of the above members but trying to attach blame to everyone and everything is so tiresome. And unfortunately increasingly common.
I agree in part. The sensors are faulty in my opinion - or at least not as accurate as those on the previous model.

Earlier today i reversed up against a small wall, which was located off to one side (similar to the post i hit). As a test i observed what was happening. I got within a foot or so of it with intermittent beeping and varying green, yellow, green, red, yellow, red random visuals (roughly in the area of the wall. I then stopped and sat there. The beeps would stop, then start, and sometimes stop for quite a while. The display would still show yellow, but no beeps... I did this on the opposite site to the sensor which hit the post just incase that sensor had been damaged (which i'm pretty certain it did not)

I am not looking to avoid the cost of the repair so much as get BMW to agree that the sensors are substandard compared to their previous model. You are correct that i can not prove that my particular incident was anything to do with faulty sensors, even if they did find my sensors to be faulty.

I agree that we should not rely on technology and that the sensors are just an aid, but when that aid (or any aid) can not be trusted it stops being an aid and starts to be come a hinderance/liability.

A poor outcome would be that they say the sensors are not faulty and this is as good as they get.
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      01-03-2013, 01:46 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacebug View Post
I agree in part. The sensors are faulty in my opinion - or at least not as accurate as those on the previous model.

Earlier today i reversed up against a small wall, which was located off to one side (similar to the post i hit). As a test i observed what was happening. I got within a foot or so of it with intermittent beeping and varying green, yellow, green, red, yellow, red random visuals (roughly in the area of the wall. I then stopped and sat there. The beeps would stop, then start, and sometimes stop for quite a while. The display would still show yellow, but no beeps... I did this on the opposite site to the sensor which hit the post just incase that sensor had been damaged (which i'm pretty certain it did not)

I am not looking to avoid the cost of the repair so much as get BMW to agree that the sensors are substandard compared to their previous model. You are correct that i can not prove that my particular incident was anything to do with faulty sensors, even if they did find my sensors to be faulty.

I agree that we should not rely on technology and that the sensors are just an aid, but when that aid (or any aid) can not be trusted it stops being an aid and starts to be come a hinderance/liability.

A poor outcome would be that they say the sensors are not faulty and this is as good as they get.
Sorry to hear you backed into a post. I did the same with my Volvo V70 a few years back, also very close to a sensor. Since then I don't rely on them and never will. I find the reverse camera more useful.
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      01-03-2013, 02:36 PM   #26
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I reversed into a bicycle's handlebars back in about 2005 so, no, they are not foolproof. Mind you better than having none - managed to hit a lamp post in 2007 in a car without 'em...
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      01-04-2013, 01:21 AM   #27
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Spacebug

In your original post you mentioned only about the sensors beeping. Do you recall if the graphic showed an obstruction (the post) but the obstruction just didn't audibly announce itself before it bashed in your bumper?

I've noticed in both this F30 as well as my previous E90 that the graphic tends to give adequate visual warning but on occasion (depending on the type/size/material of the obstruction the distance at which the audible sound begins can vary. If I drive slowly PDC tends to be much more accurate (provided the obstruction is more than 5" tall).

The sensors are ultrasonic so obstruction material type/size/shape etc can all play a role in how the frequencies bounce off the object. For this reason I tend to take the visual cues much more seriously when I cannot see what's behind the car.
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      01-04-2013, 04:19 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claykin View Post
In your original post you mentioned only about the sensors beeping. Do you recall if the graphic showed an obstruction (the post) but the obstruction just didn't audibly announce itself before it bashed in your bumper?
As far as i recall i did not hear or see anything. My wife was in the car with me and she didn't see anything either. I was flipping between looking in all three mirrors when reversing so can not be 100% certain that the graphic was not showing the obstruction.

I have been testing the sensors and the graphic does look to be a little out of sync with the sensors. I have a video of the graphic showing the first hint of red but no beeping for a brief period whilst reversing. Basically i can be reversing up to a wall at a 'very' slow speed and i can get the graphic jumping backwards and forwards along with audible warnings that come and go.

The key thing, however, is that there is some kind of warning whereas when i hit that post there was none. I suspect that the post was just too low to be seen by the sensors.

All of the above is academic anyway as in my mind the sensors are still substandard compared to the outgoing E90/91 models. I aim to do a crude latency test over the weekend. I'll stand clear of the sensors and flick something in front of the sensor whilst recording the sounds from inside the car. The only thing i need to figure out is how i tie together the trigger points of dropping something in front of the sensors whilst recording the audio in the car.

What i need is somekind of remote switch to a flash light/LED. I could then set a camera/iphone up recording the graphic, LED and audio.

OK i'm thinking out loud here.. at the danger of this becoming silly, it could get a little more technical/accurate. I have access to digital scope and a photdiode (with a 3uS response time). I could mount the photodiode near the sensor with a light source shinning on it. When i trigger the sensor (by dropping something in front of it) it would interrupt the light source on the photodiode. What i would then need to do is hook a probe up to the speaker (Left or Right depending on which sensor) and look for the beep. I could then correlate the tow signals and determine the latency.

The one thing i can not do is carry out the same test on an E90/91 (as i don't know anyone who owns one).

The question is, what is an acceptable latency? Also, does it matter what type of material is used? I would have thought that material would play a factor in detection range, which would not be affected by this test since i would be dropping something in close up to the sensor.

For acceptable latency i guess once i know what the latency is this could be converted to speed vs the operating range of the sensors. i.e if the speed that you reverse means that you will travel more than the operating range of the sensors within the latency period of the sensors then the sensors will not respond before you hit something...

I'm getting carried away now...
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      01-04-2013, 05:55 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacebug View Post
As far as i recall i did not hear or see anything. My wife was in the car with me and she didn't see anything either. I was flipping between looking in all three mirrors when reversing so can not be 100% certain that the graphic was not showing the obstruction.

I have been testing the sensors and the graphic does look to be a little out of sync with the sensors. I have a video of the graphic showing the first hint of red but no beeping for a brief period whilst reversing. Basically i can be reversing up to a wall at a 'very' slow speed and i can get the graphic jumping backwards and forwards along with audible warnings that come and go.

The key thing, however, is that there is some kind of warning whereas when i hit that post there was none. I suspect that the post was just too low to be seen by the sensors.

All of the above is academic anyway as in my mind the sensors are still substandard compared to the outgoing E90/91 models. I aim to do a crude latency test over the weekend. I'll stand clear of the sensors and flick something in front of the sensor whilst recording the sounds from inside the car. The only thing i need to figure out is how i tie together the trigger points of dropping something in front of the sensors whilst recording the audio in the car.

What i need is somekind of remote switch to a flash light/LED. I could then set a camera/iphone up recording the graphic, LED and audio.

OK i'm thinking out loud here.. at the danger of this becoming silly, it could get a little more technical/accurate. I have access to digital scope and a photdiode (with a 3uS response time). I could mount the photodiode near the sensor with a light source shinning on it. When i trigger the sensor (by dropping something in front of it) it would interrupt the light source on the photodiode. What i would then need to do is hook a probe up to the speaker (Left or Right depending on which sensor) and look for the beep. I could then correlate the tow signals and determine the latency.

The one thing i can not do is carry out the same test on an E90/91 (as i don't know anyone who owns one).

The question is, what is an acceptable latency? Also, does it matter what type of material is used? I would have thought that material would play a factor in detection range, which would not be affected by this test since i would be dropping something in close up to the sensor.

For acceptable latency i guess once i know what the latency is this could be converted to speed vs the operating range of the sensors. i.e if the speed that you reverse means that you will travel more than the operating range of the sensors within the latency period of the sensors then the sensors will not respond before you hit something...

I'm getting carried away now...
Get the dealer to look at.
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      01-04-2013, 07:39 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich1068 View Post
I agree with Pete.

No offence to any of the above members but trying to attach blame to everyone and everything is so tiresome. And unfortunately increasingly common.
None taken. they need to step up their game, a massive block of wood that big goes undetected? pls its 2013, its been 10+ years since these beeping sensors first came out.
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      01-04-2013, 08:08 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by johnbmw6 View Post
Get the dealer to look at.
Where is the fun in that..

I'm an engineer and would like to be able to prove to the guys at BMW that their sensors are pants. I can imagine a BMW service centre just fobbing me off with comments like those received by one of the US owners from BMW NA.

Quote:
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Specifically what happens is the sensors go from 0 detection to the yellow/red area. It is only the rear, the front's have no problems. And it's intermittent, not always.. Usually they work but especially at night/dark walls they don't do a thing. I've NEVER had this issue in the past 6 years with my E92s.

To further confirm the issue, I have been manually enabling the PDC every time I'm at a stoplight and sure enough, about half the time the car behind me magically appears in the red/yellow zone even though it's approaching at less than 1-2 mph.

And of course, my dealer claims I am backing up too fast and the sensors are fine, keep in mind never going more than 1mph and the sensors work fine sometimes when going 2-3 mph, but then dont work at all when going slow.. It's totally unpredictable..

So I backed up 5-6 times for them to show them the issue and every time, fast or slow, they responded differently. Sometimes working perfectly well. Other times lagging to the yellow/red zone instantly.

I really do not want to get BMW NA involved here but this is total bullshit. I really don't know what to do.


I paid $750 for these to avoid this shit. I want my $750 back or a resolution to my problem.
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      01-04-2013, 08:10 AM   #32
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Quote:
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None taken. they need to step up their game, a massive block of wood that big goes undetected? pls its 2013, its been 10+ years since these beeping sensors first came out.
+1

And they used to be better between 2005/2012
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      01-04-2013, 08:39 AM   #33
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I feel the way the sensors work has much to be desired. I want the radio to automatically turn down when I engage reverse. I don't like the graphics either. They also seem to be a bit slow. Could one say 'nearly' not fit for purpose?
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      01-05-2013, 04:43 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by F30AM View Post
I feel the way the sensors work has much to be desired. I want the radio to automatically turn down when I engage reverse. I don't like the graphics either. They also seem to be a bit slow. Could one say 'nearly' not fit for purpose?
My Voice commands can hardly be heard if the radio is on WTF on the old system it used to drop the radio out. F**king crap system.
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      01-05-2013, 05:11 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacebug View Post
Earlier today i reversed up against a small wall, which was located off to one side (similar to the post i hit). As a test i observed what was happening. I got within a foot or so of it with intermittent beeping and varying green, yellow, green, red, yellow, red random visuals (roughly in the area of the wall. I then stopped and sat there. The beeps would stop, then start, and sometimes stop for quite a while. The display would still show yellow, but no beeps... I did this on the opposite site to the sensor which hit the post just incase that sensor had been damaged (which i'm pretty certain it did not)
I've had the same experience - reverse up to a wall (especially if it's at an angle), stop moving and the rear sensors/beeping/graphics seem to do their own thing. The front sensors seem to be much more 'consistent' though.

If you're near Brighton then might not hurt to get over to Chandlers in Portslade to have a look.
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      01-05-2013, 01:17 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by johnbmw6 View Post
My Voice commands can hardly be heard if the radio is on WTF on the old system it used to drop the radio out. F**king crap system.
Mine mutes audio output when in voice command mode.....strange
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      01-05-2013, 02:02 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by johnbmw6 View Post
My Voice commands can hardly be heard if the radio is on WTF on the old system it used to drop the radio out. F**king crap system.
Mine's the same, doesn't lower the volume of the radio/USB audio when voice guidance is on; I think it does occasionally, but often not. My E82 did, will keep an eye on it!
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      01-06-2013, 04:15 PM   #38
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Here's a video clip of the rear parking sensors being 'stupid'. Car is in reverse gear but stationary about 3-4ft in front of a brick wall. Sensors look like they're guessing!

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      01-06-2013, 07:39 PM   #39
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Here's a video clip of the rear parking sensors being 'stupid'. Car is in reverse gear but stationary about 3-4ft in front of a brick wall. Sensors look like they're guessing!

For 3-4' distance its typical you'd get varied response from any RF Ultrasonic sensor. Especially since BMW claims their PDC works at less than 5'. RF varies depending on many conditions, including atmospheric and type of material used to construct the obstacle (in this case a wall). I bet if you continue to move back towards the wall and you'll see the sensors become much more predictable.

These sensors, just like the camera are meant to provide an additional way for you to see what is behind you. Unfortunately, they don't replace you being aware of your surroundings.

In order for PDC to be useful, drivers need to be moving at minimal speed (less than 3MPH).

After reading this thread I did some testing today with my November 2012 build F30. I found the sensors worked well as long as I was "crawling" back or forward into a parking spot. And I've got the old Nav (thanks to BMWNA). This result is pretty much the same as my E90.

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      01-07-2013, 06:09 AM   #40
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That's the odd thing, the front sensors are rock steady (there was a wall 4-5ft at the front) and when moving forwards to an object they always seem consistent. It's only the rear sensors that seem to dance about. (Assume the actual sensor modules are identical).
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      01-07-2013, 10:28 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F30AM View Post
I feel the way the sensors work has much to be desired. I want the radio to automatically turn down when I engage reverse. I don't like the graphics either. They also seem to be a bit slow. Could one say 'nearly' not fit for purpose?
In mine when I engage reverse, the stereo volume doesn't lower but the beeps are louder and can be heard over it. Although I generally turn the radio down when manouvering generally to keep concentration levels up

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Originally Posted by johnbmw6 View Post
My Voice commands can hardly be heard if the radio is on WTF on the old system it used to drop the radio out. F**king crap system.
When I hit the voice command button my stereo is muted whilst it listens.

Or do you mean the guidance voice like Mark;

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkW83 View Post
Mine's the same, doesn't lower the volume of the radio/USB audio when voice guidance is on; I think it does occasionally, but often not. My E82 did, will keep an eye on it!
Mine will lower the volume for each guidance instruction, regardless of whether im listening to radio or media inputs...

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Here's a video clip of the rear parking sensors being 'stupid'. Car is in reverse gear but stationary about 3-4ft in front of a brick wall. Sensors look like they're guessing!

Quick one with regards to the beeps. When are the beeps supposed to start sounding, when the yellow displays? Or should be get a slower beep with green display too?
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      01-07-2013, 11:20 AM   #42
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When I hit the voice command button my stereo is muted whilst it listens.

Or do you mean the guidance voice like Mark;




The voice guidance commands can't be heard over the radio.
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      01-07-2013, 05:32 PM   #43
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That's the odd thing, the front sensors are rock steady (there was a wall 4-5ft at the front) and when moving forwards to an object they always seem consistent. It's only the rear sensors that seem to dance about. (Assume the actual sensor modules are identical).
Have you inquired with your dealer to see if there is a software update for your car?
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      01-07-2013, 05:34 PM   #44
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.....i have reversed on to my driveway and maybe i'm listening to something on the radio. I can not roll forwards fast enough to stop them beeping so i have to kill the engine.
Couple of thoughts 1) if it helps you can adjust the volume of the PDCs so they're not quite so 'overbearing' and 2) this if the first time i've had PDC's so have no experience to lean on, but the manual does note the sensors functionality could be impacted if they are dirty? Wonder if this was part blame for not seeing that huge post...
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