BMW 5 Series Owners & Service Manuals

BMW 5 Series: Night Vision

In the G30, the Night Vision system is available in the form of BMW Night Vision with person and animal detection, optional equipment (OE 6UK).

Night Vision detects people and animals in optimum conditions at night up to a distance of approximately 330 ft (100 m) away and therefore assists the driver, especially on dark and difficult stretches of road, such as when driving on single-lane roads with adjacent woods.

In potentially dangerous situations, the system warns the driver of people and animals on the road.

The Night Vision camera integrated in the BMW radiator grille records the area in front of the vehicle and sends the data to the Night Vision Electronics (NVE).

Night Vision
G30 Night Vision camera

The image data is analyzed by the Night Vision Electronics control unit and the corresponding image information is sent to the head unit via the Color Video Blanking Signal.

Night Vision
G30 Night Vision Electronics (NVE) control unit

Hot objects with outlines that resemble people or animals are detected by the system and can be displayed on the Central Information Display if necessary.

Night Vision
G30 Night Vision detection range

  1. Night Vision camera detection range
  2. Night Vision camera image showing detected person (display on the Central Information Display)
  3. Night Vision camera image showing detected animals (display on the Central Information Display)

Object detection range

  • Person recognition: up to approximately 330 ft (100 m)
  • Recognition of large animals: up to approximately 500 ft (150 m)
  • Recognition of medium-sized animals: up to approximately 230 ft (70 m)

Warning levels

Night Vision detects people and determines their position and distance from the vehicle. Taking into account the driving speed and steering angle, the system calculates whether there is a potential risk and displays a warning sign (early warning) in the instrument cluster and in the Head-Up Display, if present.

In critical situations a warning signal also sounds (acute warning). The warning threshold values are also dependent on whether the person or the animal is moving or standing still.

The table below shows an overview of the symbols with their meanings:

Night Vision Early warning (person on the roadway)

Night Vision Early warning (person crossing the roadway)

Night Vision Acute warning when a person is detected

Night Vision Early warning when an animal is detected

Night Vision Acute warning when an animal is detected


Night Vision is automatically switched on every time the vehicle drives off when it is dark. The warning functions are therefore issued irrespective of the view on the Central Information Display. The driver can switch the Night Vision camera display on the Central Information Display on and off by pressing the Night Vision button in the light operating unit.

It is also possible to set the brightness and contrast of the Night Vision display via the iDrive.

Night Vision
G30 Button for thermal imaging camera/Night Vision

  1. Night Vision button

Limits of the system

The functionality may be impaired in the following situations and no warning or an incorrect warning may be issued:

  • On steep summits or dips and tight bends.
  • If the camera is dirty or the protective screen is damaged.
  • Heavy fog, rain or snow.
  • If the outside temperatures are very high.

The person and animal recognition may also be impaired or may not issue the usual warnings.

This can occur in the following cases:

  • If the person or animal is fully or partially hidden, particularly the head.
  • If the person is not in an upright position, e.g. if they are lying down.
  • If a bike has non-conventional wheels, e.g. recumbent bicycle.
  • If the system has been affected mechanically, e.g. after an accident.

In certain cases small animals may be entirely visible on the Central Information Display, but may not be identified by the object detection. As a consequence, a warning is also not issued.

The system does not relieve the driver of personal responsibility for correctly judging the visibility and traffic situation. The driver is solely responsible for the vehicle and the speed at which it is driven.



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