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Old 06-20-2014, 09:40 PM   #1
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Default Night Vision Assistant

I'd appreciate opinions from anyone that has the Night Vision Assistant. Pros, Cons, would you order it again?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:55 PM   #2
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The C7 implementations are of somewhat limited use, and while it's a nice-to-have feature, if it weren't bundled with the HUD (a much more useful feature), I would not consider paying more than $300-500 for it.

Biggest Advantage:
Nearly realtime video makes living things (humans, animals) light up bright white against a grayscale background, regardless of whether it's light or dark outside. The night vision sees beyond the range of even the LED headlights.

Other notes:
- The pedestrian boxing feature is somewhat useful, but not worthwhile in and of itself. People too close to your car don't get flagged, not do bicyclists or animals. Some competing systems are able to deal with these situations.
- The system is also useful for driving on winding mountain roads at night when flicking on your high beams is not practical / not an option. The pavement is always a different color from the guard rails / hard shoulders due to the heat retaining properties of concrete.
- Although it may seem like projecting a video stream in your instrument cluster is impractically distracting, in reality it is not. You can sort of see it in your peripheral vision, and you can periodically scan down as you check your other instruments, just looking for white blobs.

Downsides:
- Cost. If it really is the only reason you want the HUD package, it's not worth it. The new pricing scheme for 2015 helps with that.
- Pedestrian detection is not always lane / curvature aware -- I've gotten false collision warnings before because the car doesn't realize the road bends up ahead, and instead it thinks I'm going to plow over someone on the sidewalk. Fortunately the night vision warning just beeps at you.
- Has to be manually activated each time. You can put the video feed in the "background" and still continue to get pedestrian warnings, but you still have to flick it on.


Overall though, after 5 months of ownership, this is a feature I still use often when driving in the dark. Thermal imaging is really useful in highlighting pedestrians and animals, and gives you a sense of reassurance. Sometimes people think it's a smart idea to walk their dogs at night wearing dark clothing, and those things look bright as day through the night vision system.

(BTW, "night vision" is a misnomer -- it's actually a thermal imaging camera from FLIR -- the same technology used by police helicopters to find people hiding in the woods)
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:18 AM   #3
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Concur with Jdong. My wife has poor night vision and almost hit pedestrians on several occasions. So the first criteria for this car purchase is one that is equipped with night vision assist. Short list quickly comes down to E class, 5 series and A6. Between these three, the choice is obvious. If not for the night vision assist, I probably would have got a S4.

Not perfect as Jdong mentioned but it is a helpful aid. I urge my wife to use it every time when she drives at night in town.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:08 AM   #4
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I like it because when I go to work in the morning, I can see my other co-workers' cars and kind of tell how long they've been there by the heat signature from their car.

It's also good for finding those hiding police cars at night.
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Old 06-23-2014, 09:29 AM   #5
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My issue with the night vision is that is sees far, but not wide.
My biggest fear at driving at night time is not hitting someone directly in front of me, but someone wandering on the side of the road (and possibly trying to cross the road suddenly).
You generally keep your eyes on the road when you drive, so you usually see people directly in front of you, but when it gets dark, it is difficult to spot people off the road (on the side).
The night vision screen between the speedometer and the tachometer is designed in a way that the lower right and left corners of the screen are cut out, so that people on the side of the road close to the car are NOT displayed on the screen, which to me, is the most important piece of information at night time.
So...to me, the night vision is 99% useless, and I really wish Audi didn't force me to get it by bundling it up with the HUD, which is one of my favorite options on my A6.
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Old 06-23-2014, 11:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lnferno View Post
I like it because when I go to work in the morning, I can see my other co-workers' cars and kind of tell how long they've been there by the heat signature from their car.

It's also good for finding those hiding police cars at night.
:-)
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:57 AM   #7
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It is particularly useless in Southern California as nobody walks anywhere, some people take their car to the mailbox at the end of the block!
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Old 07-01-2014, 03:08 AM   #8
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Where I have found the night vision most useful is during heavy fog or heavy rain. It will allow you to see what's coming at you in the other lane as well as what's directly in front in your lane.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:54 AM   #9
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My car doesn't have NV. However I am keen on installing it, and retrofitting VAGcom to make this work. If costs are not an issue (I haven't priced out the pieces just yet). Does anyone know if this is possible?
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:23 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Superfly_A6 View Post
My car doesn't have NV. However I am keen on installing it, and retrofitting VAGcom to make this work. If costs are not an issue (I haven't priced out the pieces just yet). Does anyone know if this is possible?
If you don't have the HUD already I'm going to say I think this is on the outside of the line of plausible. Certainly anything can be done, but you'll need the HUD (which I believe needs a new cluster hood) and a bunch of wiring plus the HUD windshield.... Note that the lane assist "retrofit" which is purely software doesn't appear to have been done successfully and you'd be talking about MUCH more.

Probably cheaper to take the hit on your car and buy one equipped the way you want
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Old 07-01-2014, 12:23 PM
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