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Innovation Package, Night Vision, Heads Up Display

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Old 04-06-2014, 07:36 AM   #1
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Default Innovation Package, Night Vision, Heads Up Display

I am a long time member over on the C6 forum. After driving my C6 for 9 years and 140,000 miles I am now looking at ordering a 2014 C7. I am looking for some feedback regarding the night vision and heads up display options and whether or not the people who have the option think it is worthwhile and what issues they have had. Thanks in advance and I am looking forward to joining the C7 family.

Kevin
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Old 04-06-2014, 07:57 AM   #2
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Since I keep cars for several years as you do, I go for a fully optioned Car. I got all available options, except B &O, which I felt was way too overpriced for my older ears.

I really like the Heads-Up display, since it gives you speed and Navigation information right in front of your eyes without looking down. Consider full LED headlights--they're awesome and add a very high-tech look to the car. Also, now that I've used it I wouldn't be without the Adaptive Cruise Control, it's the most important and useful option. I like the Active Lane assist for longer trips. The Side-Assist option alerts you to someone in your blind-spot is also very helpful, and the other car doesn't just have to be in your blind spot. If it's coming up fast in the other lane, this option will alert you to not change lanes in front of that car.

The Night Vision option is really up to you. It will detect and alert you to persons at night, walking or on bicycles, and also detects animals. So if you drive a lot in unlighted areas as I do in the mountains, this option is very helpful to keep from hitting an animal. Even an animal as small as a squirrel will show up as a bright white spot on the display.

Here's a great description of these options: http://www.audiusanews.com/newsrelea...e-systems&mid=
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Old 04-06-2014, 08:54 AM   #3
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The HUD is a must IMO. Once you have it in one car, you need to have it in others. And since I had it in other cars, it just feels like extra work to look down to see how fast I'm going. More info in it would be nice, but even as is, its not something I'd pass on.

Nightvision, not so much. I rarely use it. Its not positioned in a good spot, and again, requires looking down. Plus, I don't really like the black and white setting. If they were gonna do it, they should have done it right and offered multiple settings like the FLIR thermal cameras do. Color would have made it a lot more useful, though I still probably wouldn't use it.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:28 AM   #4
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"Color would have made it a lot more useful, though I still probably wouldn't use it."

Color often enhances the usability of a display, but not so with FLIR. All the different colors related to different temperatures of objects just confuses the image. All you really care about in the non-Color display are the very warm images, shown in bright-white, as opposed to the cooler images shown in various shades of a darker gray--So the white images really stand out with a quick glance at the display.

We have a large-screen FLIR display on a Search and Rescue boat that has Color available, and we never use it. That's because we've found it takes too much scrutinizing the image to try to pick out the one item we're interested in finding--a warm boat or a warm body floating in cool water.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:39 AM   #5
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If you are getting adaptive cruise + active lane assist and plan on using both features, the HUD IMO is a must have. It plasters the current state of ACC (e.g. on or off, does it see a car or not) and ALA (left, right, or no lane boundaries detected) right in front of you, so you know at any given moment in time whether the car is in "autopilot" or you need to intervene. Without this, ACC can sometimes be scary or dangerous to use, as it requires that you point your car towards what looks like an imminent rear-ending and hitting the brakes cancels adaptive cruise!

The Night Vision proves useful on occasions but isn't one of those features that you use every day (unless you live in the middle of nowhere). It's great at highlighting people, but even animals on the road show up in an obvious bright white that you'll notice during your periodic instrument cluster visual scans. It's actually also useful in driving on curvy roads at night, as the thermal imaging camera can pick up the contour of the road from beyond the reach of headlights (because the dirt or metal guard rail tends to be at a different temperature than the concrete road surface)

All in all, if you love tech gadgets in a car, I'd highly recommend getting the Innovation Package with HUD and night vision. The HUD perfectly complements the features in the Driver Assist package.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:26 PM   #6
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I agree with the others above. The HUD and ACC are very useful in day to day driving - I use the HUD every day and the ACC whenever I'm on the highway (not so much around town). The night vision seems like a novelty to me, especially since you need to look down in the display between the gauges to see it.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dicktahoe View Post
"Color would have made it a lot more useful, though I still probably wouldn't use it."

Color often enhances the usability of a display, but not so with FLIR. All the different colors related to different temperatures of objects just confuses the image. All you really care about in the non-Color display are the very warm images, shown in bright-white, as opposed to the cooler images shown in various shades of a darker gray--So the white images really stand out with a quick glance at the display.

We have a large-screen FLIR display on a Search and Rescue boat that has Color available, and we never use it. That's because we've found it takes too much scrutinizing the image to try to pick out the one item we're interested in finding--a warm boat or a warm body floating in cool water.
I like the color better because its easier to tell minor differences. Having to pick out between grays is harder for me than black, purples, blues, greens, yellows, orange, reds and pinks.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:32 PM   #8
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Another vote for the HUD and ACC being the most useful. I do like the side assist as well but since I still check blind spots it isn't all that useful. But if I ever need to do evasive maneuvers it could provide quick useful information. I'm not a fan of the lane assist. Half the time it can't recognize the lanes and even when it does work it can do screwy things.
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Old 04-06-2014, 04:22 PM   #9
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I am probably one of the few who bought this car for the night vision. My wife has poor night vision so this and full LED are must have for me.

For me I find HUD very useful especially when you have ACC on. It tells you if it detects the car ahead, shows navigation and visual warning when night vision detects people in the car's path. That mitigates the need of looking down the IR display regularly.

ACC is helpful on highway and also in stop and go traffic.

All said, while these aids are helpful, it does not absolve driver's responsibility to check.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:37 PM   #10
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All said, while these aids are helpful, it does not absolve driver's responsibility to check.

Hope that helps.
Agreed. In fact, I've found that the ACC takes the monotony out of dense highway driving, and allows me to be more aware of the big picture rather than occupying myself with carefully tracking speed limits and following distances.
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Old 04-06-2014, 10:29 PM   #11
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It's 11PM and I just returned from a 5.5 hr trip from Seattle to Priest River which included city expressways, interstate driving over the Snoqualmie Pass and across WA state and unlit backroads frequented by deer, elk and moose. I used all the technologies mentioned here except LED headlights which I didn't select (along with the B&O which as noted by a previous poster is mighty expensive for older ears--I regret that because the Bose sucks. I guess I can still hear).

The HUD, side assist and adaptive cruise are absolute musts. Once you have them in a car there is no going back. The lane control is not so essential and can't be used all the time, but once you figure out when to use it, it's a worthwhile addition. These are the options that Car and Driver said not to buy because they absolutely ruin the car. Frankly, they are clueless.

Night Vision depends on your needs. I do a lot of back country driving and night vision really works well. It also sees a lot further down the road than the headlights do. I find myself looking at it rather than out the windshield at times. As noted before the placement is poor but not impossible. It helps a great deal for both me and my wife who don't have the night vision we had 30 years ago. Unfortunately, this is a pretty tough option to test ride unless your dealer gives test rides at night or lets you take one home. Or unless you know someone with Night Vision in their Audi.

Fortunately, Audi has cleverly bundled options so that if you want the HUD you have to take the Night Vision (at least on a 2014 A6). It's a no brainer, take the HUD and live with the Night Vision. You may grow to love it or you may find it's just not fitting your lifestyle.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:20 AM   #12
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Most car journalists say these safety / driver's aids options are not good value as they are not fool proof. Just go for bare bones and save your money. I suspect if these options are thrown in as freebies, they would say nice to have but won't use it as they are nannies. And if some days in future these systems mature to the point they are near fool proof, they would say thanks but I'll probably look elsewhere as it takes the fun out of driving. Only when governments mandate these systems in the cars like ABS and traction control, then they will finally shut up.

Because full LED and night vision is what made the car in the shortlist, I test drove the car once in daytime and another one at night.
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[Glacier White Metallic // Black Milano Leather // Matte Brushed Aluminium Inlay // Black Headliner]

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[Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System // Electric Rear Sunshade // Manual Side Sunshade // Four Zone Climate Control // Heated and Ventilated Front Seats // Heated Rear Seats // LED Ambient Lighting Plus // Glass Sunroof]

Last edited by qqq1970; 04-07-2014 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:20 PM   #13
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Thanks for all of the replies. It seems like the consensus is that the 2 major option packages on the Prestige model are worthwhile. Now all I have to do is decide what color, etc. Hopefully I will be an active participant member of this forum shortly. Thanks again.

Kevin
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RIP - 2005 A6 4.2 - (February 2005 - August 2014) (142,000 miles)

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Old 04-07-2014, 03:23 PM   #14
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They don't need to be 100% foolproof to be useful. I'm not sure what driver in their right mind thinks that it's "fun" to either maintain your car in the 10mph "you won't get a ticket" band while going on a long road trip, or guide your car through stop and go traffic for 45 minutes.

For these situations, which is where the ACC is designed to work, it is virtually flawless, and a huge win for me to reduce the fatigue of the boring aspects of driving.

If you're trying to use ACC as a self driving car in cities or unusual traffic situations (roundabouts, traffic lights, stop signs, etc etc), then I think you are asking for trouble. But ACC is suitable to use in just about every condition cruise control is suitable to use, and it serves to reduce driver fatigue for managing monotonous tasks so that you can keep track of the big picture.

EDIT: Re. the B&O, even after 2 months of ownership my feelings are mixed. I got the B&O, because it happened to be on the only A6 I could find in the area with the Innovation package, which I really wanted. I also used the B&O as a bargaining chip for negotiating the last little bit off the sticker price.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with the sound quality of the system, and the novelty of the pop-up tweeters. I thought the Bose system sounded decent too. It's certainly a very very pricey option and that's the only drawback that I've really found.

Last edited by jdong; 04-07-2014 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:23 PM
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