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      04-21-2010, 09:25 PM   #1
LateBraking
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BMW and Traffic Information.

I was always just curious as to how BMW obtains its traffic information. Unless it's talking about the yellow-diamonds (very slow/stopped traffic), it's always so damn wrong!

Hell, a lot of times there should be yellow diamonds and there still isn't.

Just wondering if they piggyback off of something else, or how it is that they get their iDrive traffic information.
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      04-22-2010, 04:11 AM   #2
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      04-22-2010, 08:09 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iBeJayKaying View Post
I was always just curious as to how BMW obtains its traffic information. Unless it's talking about the yellow-diamonds (very slow/stopped traffic), it's always so damn wrong!

Hell, a lot of times there should be yellow diamonds and there still isn't.

Just wondering if they piggyback off of something else, or how it is that they get their iDrive traffic information.
BMW uses a system that employs traffic information transmitted via HD Radio stations as part of their digital data capabilities. The actual traffic information comes from a partner, Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network.
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      04-22-2010, 08:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ///M Rakete View Post
BMW uses a system that employs traffic information transmitted via HD Radio stations as part of their digital data capabilities. The actual traffic information comes from a partner, Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network.
That means no additional fees from SiriusXM...right?

I know Audi uses SiriusXM and there is an additional fee for traffic on top of the satellite radio fee.
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      04-22-2010, 08:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Rakete View Post
BMW uses a system that employs traffic information transmitted via HD Radio stations as part of their digital data capabilities. The actual traffic information comes from a partner, Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network.
How does that work then with non-HD radio equipped cars, say 2007-2008, that have TI?

I thought TI was delivered through an FM sub-channel of some kinds (used to be RDS in Europe, now called TMC and TMC+). My Garmin Nuvi had a small FM receiver in the 12v cord for TI.

Here in Europe there are several different means of transmitting TI. I know that in Europe some US-spec owners had TI working (off RDS) and then after BMW changed something in the software, this was turned off (and post 2009 cars this continues to be inop). Interestingly, someone on the 7-post was told in Munich that while the TI would not show up on the navigation display, as long as "dynamic guidance" was selected, the system would compensate for traffic situations.

All that said, I find that using my Blackberry to access traffic info on several websites here in France is the most accurate. The French companies that run the toll roads have traffic info for all their highways (and also many secondary roads). It is quite impressive (if you check googlemaps you will see the extent of TI coverage).
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      04-22-2010, 02:54 PM   #6
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In the USA, BMW previously got the traffic data over the RDS/Data portion of the analog radio spectrum. They switched to getting it from the HD radio stations starting with some 2009 model year vehicles (the ones with the new iDrive).
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      04-22-2010, 03:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slpnbyu View Post
That means no additional fees from SiriusXM...right?

I know Audi uses SiriusXM and there is an additional fee for traffic on top of the satellite radio fee.
Correct, the current BMW system does not use SiriusXM like Ford's does.
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      04-22-2010, 03:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90M3CDFR View Post
How does that work then with non-HD radio equipped cars, say 2007-2008, that have TI?

I thought TI was delivered through an FM sub-channel of some kinds (used to be RDS in Europe, now called TMC and TMC+). My Garmin Nuvi had a small FM receiver in the 12v cord for TI.

Here in Europe there are several different means of transmitting TI. I know that in Europe some US-spec owners had TI working (off RDS) and then after BMW changed something in the software, this was turned off (and post 2009 cars this continues to be inop). Interestingly, someone on the 7-post was told in Munich that while the TI would not show up on the navigation display, as long as "dynamic guidance" was selected, the system would compensate for traffic situations.

All that said, I find that using my Blackberry to access traffic info on several websites here in France is the most accurate. The French companies that run the toll roads have traffic info for all their highways (and also many secondary roads). It is quite impressive (if you check googlemaps you will see the extent of TI coverage).
There are systems that use RDS-transmitted traffic information however the BMW system here uses HD. Navigation with Traffic Information comes with an HD Radio receiver, whether you ordered the HD Radio option or not. My 2008 550i has both the Nav w/TI and HD Radio options but I could have not ordered HD Radio and I would have still had TI.

In fact when TI first came out in 2006 (I think it was) it was an either or scenario, at least on the 5-Series. If you wanted TI you couldn't have HD Radio, if you wanted HD Radio you couldn't have TI. That got fixed. Why at first the limit was only one HD input I don't know. Now I hear that BMW is making HD Radio standard as of MY2011.
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      04-22-2010, 03:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdernst View Post
In the USA, BMW previously got the traffic data over the RDS/Data portion of the analog radio spectrum. They switched to getting it from the HD radio stations starting with some 2009 model year vehicles (the ones with the new iDrive).
Clear Channel used RDS when BMW and them signed their agreement in 2006 but they started broadcasting RTTI on HD Radio in all their markets in 2007. I think the BMW switch occurred before the change to the CIC based iDrive. But I could be wrong and often am.
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      04-22-2010, 07:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Rakete View Post
I think the BMW switch occurred before the change to the CIC based iDrive.
You're right, since my '08 has it. But in '08 TI was never an option, so it was probably included with nav. Or with nav and HD radio .

I rarely use nav, but used it when driving home to become familiar with the options. When I got stuck in Phoenix with bumper-to-bumper traffic for an hour, found that traffic option, and the damn thing said 'slow traffic ahead'. Ahead? Geez. If the stupid thing doesn't alert you in advance to be able to reroute, what the hell we need it for? Maybe sat-based systems are better due to user charges, but this one seems like a joke. Good thing I don't need it .
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      04-22-2010, 08:27 PM   #11
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There's nothing inherently inferior about BMW's system vs. what anyone else uses. The current state-of-the-art of traffic info is crude, at best, in terms of being timely. Think of a situation where you witness a major accident that eventually blocks all 4 lanes of traffic and shuts a major freeway down for a med-evac helicopter. Timing is everything, and it will never be possible to rely on traffic info to get you out of every gridlock situation.

Moreover, like every other database, if garbage goes in, garbage comes out. The current state-of-the-art for traffic databases includes a lot of garbage in the sense that it's not timely enough to help you all the time. It may never be because traffic congestion is such a dynamic situation.
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      04-23-2010, 12:01 PM   #12
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Thanks for the replies everyone, I'm at least more educated on the subject now. I was just curious as to why my iPhone seems to work better (whenever I have reception).
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      04-23-2010, 12:12 PM   #13
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Mine is almost always too slow or too late with the traffic information.. either I'm sitting in it by the time it tells me there's traffic or the accident has already cleared..

I usually ignore the any traffic alerts now.
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