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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Be very careful using this switch:

174196


It may take you on adventures you may not like...................

The problem is that BMW uses traffic data from Tom Tom maps which relate to time and day of the week, but when calculating a route the BMW App does not ask about time of day, nor day of the week, is assumes you are going when you calculate the route and will navigate you "Away from perceived traffic".

If you happen to drop a Waypoint or Via Point on a road with traffic you could have some "Fun". The BMW App doe not appear to use Shaping Points or, perhaps it does, in that is uses them but does not show them since I can create two versions of a route one of which avoids a Waypoint and one which does not. Needless to say its confusing.

Here is a video demonstrating the problem and what BMW should have done to avoid the issue i.e. done what all the other Sat Nav systems do and sign up to an "Active Traffic" service to advise riders of problems ahead.

I am going to sent the video to Jann at BMW and the guys at MyRouteApp.

 

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My understanding is that the traffic information is ‘active’ and up to date. Where have you got it from that it‘s time and day specific ?

You have no doubt read some of my posts concerning the loss of traffic information on my app and that BMW have suggested that it is part of the bigger connectivity issues - traffic is either no existent or frozen at the moment. Are you happy that traffic is currently working properly on your app ? Traffic appears to still be working on my wife’s Android phone and comparing the traffic to the current traffic conditions on google maps, it appears accurate and up to date.

I totally agree that the consideration of traffic should be on-going throughout your ride and should provide alternative suggestions real time to avoid current traffic conditions. The app has not got this facility at the moment (I would like to think it would be added in the future). However, in its current format, it has been designed to consider live traffic as a one off when the route is initially planned or when you press ‘go’. I presume the idea is that you plan or press ‘go’ just before you set off so it takes current traffic into consideration and hope that nothing changes throughout your ride !!

I don’t use a third party program to plan routes so don’t fully understand the various export options and certainly have no idea about the weird ‘Y’ shaped routing in your video. However, to me, the other route option is planned exactly as I would expect - at that time there was traffic on the main road, so the app has planned a route around that traffic. If you turn the consider traffic off - does it plan the obvious straight route along the main road ? And the idea would be that you don’t plan/press go until you are actually are ready to leave - and if there was currently traffic on that main road, it would plan you around it as expected.

I don’t know what joy you will get with BMW supporting a third party program. I can already hear their answer now. I don’t know how complicated your usual route planning is, but I haven’t found the app itself much of a bother. And with the fact you can use a desktop with the DeX station - would you always need to use a third party program ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My understanding is that the traffic information is ‘active’ and up to date. Where have you got it from that it‘s time and day specific ?
We are now in "I assume mode" and I assume the offline maps have "Typical traffic" built in. Where did you get the idea that traffic information is "active" and current at point of plotting route. If you are right then the BMW App is looking at the "Active Traffic" situation which is an even greater travesty if they cannot advise that there is traffic on the route. To get "Active Traffic" you would need an online connection and the BMW App is working offline.

You have no doubt read some of my posts concerning the loss of traffic information on my app and that BMW have suggested that it is part of the bigger connectivity issues - traffic is either no existent or frozen at the moment. Are you happy that traffic is currently working properly on your app ? Traffic appears to still be working on my wife’s Android phone and comparing the traffic to the current traffic conditions on google maps, it appears accurate and up to date.
I can't actually tell if its accurate or not, we don't have much around here, but it again begs the question is the traffic "Active" or stored against the maps, wouldn't it be nice if we were told.

I totally agree that the consideration of traffic should be on-going throughout your ride and should provide alternative suggestions real time to avoid current traffic conditions. The app has not got this facility at the moment (I would like to think it would be added in the future). However, in its current format, it has been designed to consider live traffic as a one off when the route is initially planned or when you press ‘go’. I presume the idea is that you plan or press ‘go’ just before you set off so it takes current traffic into consideration and hope that nothing changes throughout your ride !!
As you can see I was given a Zig Zag choice of route or inverted "Y" neither of which I fancied. Whatever way it works, the App should tell us what that our planned route has been changed due to traffic and give us choices. In Co-pilot, when you hit the calculate button, it provides alternative routes with options for you to select. I am too old to do surprises any more.

I don’t use a third party program to plan routes so don’t fully understand the various export options and certainly have no idea about the weird ‘Y’ shaped routing in your video. However, to me, the other route option is planned exactly as I would expect - at that time there was traffic on the main road, so the app has planned a route around that traffic. If you turn the consider traffic off - does it plan the obvious straight route along the main road ? And the idea would be that you don’t plan/press go until you are actually are ready to leave - and if there was currently traffic on that main road, it would plan you around it as expected.
I had two choices with the GPX files, one was a Track and the other a Route. With a Track you follow it, if you miss a junction the App will ask you to turn around and resume the Track. The App calculated the Track correctly and took into consideration traffic which ended up with a Zig Zag. If I switch off "Consider traffic" I get the route that I had planned.

The weird "Y" was in the Route version, I happened to drop a via point/way point on a road with traffic. With a way point the App will navigate to it, you can skip a way point on the bike and if you do the App will calculate a route to the next way point. The other option is a thing called a shaping point which is like a "soft" way point, if you miss/skip a junction e.g. the middle of the "Y" in my case the navigation software should calculate the route to the next point you have set. BMW don't seem to support shaping points, again, we don't know for sure.

I don’t know what joy you will get with BMW supporting a third party program. I can already hear their answer now. I don’t know how complicated your usual route planning is, but I haven’t found the app itself much of a bother. And with the fact you can use a desktop with the DeX station - would you always need to use a third party program ?
I like MyRouteApp, it has replaced Basecamp for me and I will do another video on why I like it.

The bottom line on this is that we are still fumbling in the dark trying to work out how the BMW App works with Tom Tom etc. etc. We have zero documentation.

I know what it is like in England and Wales with traffic, I drive and ride through it. The last time I was down the M1 heading to Folkstone for the Channel tunnel the BMW Nav Vi I had told me there was bad traffic on the M25 and would I like to save 45 minutes on my journey, I obviously said YES (lets set aside everyone else who got asked the question and who also said YES). I then got navigated pretty much though back gardens and fields, but I trusted it and made it to my hotel.

Note that I used a BMW Nav VI, i.e. a branded Nav unit by BMW and it had a traffic service. When developing their new App they should know you cannot take functionality from customers and they have done that. Don't forget they took away the "Safety camera warnings" as well.

Active traffic should have be a mandatory design requirement.
 

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should provide alternative suggestions real time to avoid current traffic conditions
it does kind of, you can bring it up on the TFT navigation menu. Once you have active guidance, it will show alternates as well. Since my traffic doesn't seem to work, I cannot tell if the alternates are traffic based or distance/speed based but it is definitely there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
it does kind of, you can bring it up on the TFT navigation menu. Once you have active guidance, it will show alternates as well. Since my traffic doesn't seem to work, I cannot tell if the alternates are traffic based or distance/speed based but it is definitely there.
Thanks I will check it out, its sooooooooo painful trying to work out what is going on.
 

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But as David says above, it's not possible to have "real time" traffic without a connection of some sort - whether that be by radio, as it was with older sat navs, or by internet via the phone.
 

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We are now in "I assume mode" and I assume the offline maps have "Typical traffic" built in.
Dave, I wasn’t making an assumption - it was my polite way of saying that I think you are wrong with that point. The app does use offline maps as we know, but you also need a data connection to receive up to date traffic information. It was one of my points that we have discussed in the past about promoting people using a dedicated phone - unless you have a SIM installed, you will loose functionality of the app - which includes traffic, address search, POI search, nearest fuel search. It used to be clearly written in their data policy in the app which I have referred people to before - not so clear now as they have updated the policy when they added the BMW ID update. If you read the description of the app in the Google play store it states under navigation ‘up to date traffic information’. The app will also show current closed roads which can’t be day/time specific. The traffic is live.

It just isn’t working properly at the moment due to the ongoing connectivity issues - so I’m told by BMW.

But it should take the current live traffic information into consideration when you first plan/press go for a route.

I wasn’t aware either that it would suggest an alternative route on the fly based on current traffic information - the support questions say not. I’ll give it a go next time.
 

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Does the BMW Motorrad Connected App recommend alternative navigation routes in case of traffic jams?
No. The BMW Motorrad Connected App does not recommend alternative navigation routes in the event of traffic jams. However, the app takes the current traffic situation into account when planning the route according to the navigation settings in the menu "More" at the bottom right of your BMW Motorrad Connected App.
 

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So even if the system is working 100% as intended one doesn't get real time traffic info? Sounds like another reason to use a Zumo XT to me....
 

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If working 100% in its current app version - when you first set off it will consider current live traffic when it initially plans your route. If traffic suddenly appears when you are half way through your route, currently it won’t tell you there is traffic ahead and offer an alternative (I think they will add this in the fullness of time). If you have the map on and it’s suitably zoomed, you will be able to see the current live traffic around you on the TFT screen - and maybe then, as the_real_hati suggests, you could hit alternative route on the TFT (or replan your route in the app and hit go again) and it should then consider the new current traffic situation.
 

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But but...I plan my route in Basecamp and then transfer a gpx file to the phone, maybe 6 months is advance. I don't know about you, but I have the map zoomed so I can see the next turn or two, I'm not scanning the screen looking for traffic 10 miles ahead, or whatever distance would allow for an alternative route to be feasible.
 

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Yep totally agree which is why I think (I hope) they will add the feature in the future - assuming they can actually get the map to stay on the screen in the first place !!

Just pointing out that providing you have a data connection - live traffic information will be transferred to the TFT (again when they’ve fixed it !!).
 

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David - keep scrolling down on the play store (or App Store if you have an iPhone) and in the notes for use section it states :

• A mobile Internet connection is required to access traffic information. This may incur costs in line with the contract between the customer and their mobile provider (e.g. for roaming).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK, I am glad I started this cause I am learning something and hopefully others are, so lets clarify this.

1. The App uses Offline maps.
2. With a SIM in the phone it can use Active Traffic, so that when the route is calculated it can avoid it.
3. The traffic is displayed on the TFT when we encounter it.

I hope that is right and if it is:

1. The developers did not think it important to tell us traffic is on the route when the route is calculated, that's lazy.
2. The developers did not think it important to give us the ability to either manually re-route or, provide us with choices for different routes, that's extra lazy.
3. The App will re-calculate the route when we are on it, e.g. if we skip a waypoint or are re-directed and the TFT knows there is traffic ahead but the developers decided not to give us a choice when we approach traffic situation the same as Garmin did with the BMW Nav system, that's extra, extra lazy.
4. There is no information on how this thing works other than what we all glean collectively from BMW and share it, that should be a sackable offence.

Did I sum that up OK?
 

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1. The App uses Offline maps.
2. With a SIM in the phone it can use Active Traffic, so that when the route is calculated it can avoid it.
3. The traffic is displayed on the TFT when we encounter it.
Yes, exactly right. I lost traffic about 4 weeks after picking up the bike and its never returned since. In the app, traffic congestion displays as a red or orange overlay and closed roads appear as a red/white striped overlay. Unlike google maps, BMW do not use a green overlay for clear roads. These colours are transferred to the TFT map and appear on the road ahead as you travel through traffic. When it was working for me, it worked very well - not only from a visual point of view but also when It considered planning a route.

I wish I could find a copy of the original data policy that was contained within the older version of the app before they added the BMW ID. It explained how your data was used - for example location details are sent to TomTom so that they can return current traffic details, you location details are sent to TomTom to determine the closest petrol station, your location details are sent to an external service provider in order to display a list of places or addresses corresponding to a search criteria for address or POI etc etc - the current policy does explain a few of these details now, just doesn’t seem to mention the traffic policy (worth a quick glance through so you understand how the app works).

This is one of my main reasons against using a dedicated non SIM phone - loss of functionality. And if you are using a SIM, you might as well use your main phone as there is no difference between them and half the expense.
 

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I have a SIM in my bike phone - because my main phone doesn't fit in the cubby. BMW did this "on the cheap" and simply adapted the existing RHS cubby from the previous model, without considering the ever-increasing size of modern phones it would seem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@Rich_Blue21RTLE Not saying you should get a Bike phone, but if the Bike phone only needed internet access you could use you personal phone as a WiFi hotspot to get to the internet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
But if the "bike phone" connected to a wi-fi hotspot wouldn't that knock out the maps connection to the TFT?
Not sure, the phone uses WiFi Direct. My phone can display maps and be connected to my home network at the same time. When I look at connections I only see my home network.
 

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Hmm - afaik iPhones don't have wi-fi direct. If my bike phone connects to my home network I don't get app/map connection to the TFT.
 
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