BMW 7 Owners & Service Manuals

BMW 7 Series: System Components

Components

The BMW Night Vision system consists of the following components:

  • Night Vision camera with camera bracket and camera washer jet
  • Night Vision control unit
  • Button in light switch center
  • Sensor system

BMW Night Vision
Night Vision installation Locations

BMW Night Vision
Fig. 8: Identifying BMW Night Vision System Components

Night Vision Camera

The thermal imaging camera consists of a heated optical element and a thermal imaging sensor. The thermal imaging sensor is made up of a multitude of sensor elements.

Each display pixel is assigned one such sensor element. The sensor elements generate an electrical signal as a function of the impinging intensity of heat radiation.

The higher the temperature, the brighter the corresponding pixel will be displayed. The heat radiation is converted into electrical signals on the basis of the principle of a change in resistance.

BMW Night Vision
Fig. 9: Identifying Camera With Bracket

The image can be replaced up to 60 times per second. In order to ensure an image of consistent quality, it is necessary for the camera to be calibrated roughly every 120 seconds. This calibration can take up to approx. 0.5 seconds. For this reason, the image may be seen to freeze in the display.

The Night Vision camera is mounted with a bracket directly behind the left ventilation grille on the bumper mounting bracket.

The camera is equipped with a sensor which detects heat-emitting objects in the Far Infrared range (wavelengths from 8 μm to 15 μm).

The camera resolution is 320 x 240 pixels. The maximum angle of view is 36º. The calculations for the "Bend/curve mode" functions are made in the camera. The camera operates in an ambient-temperature range of - 104ºF to 185ºF (40ºC to +85ºC). The camera and imaging sensor are thermally insulated to provide protection against heat influences from the camera surroundings.

The washer jet is screwed to the camera bracket and is situated directly above the camera's front lens. It is directly connected to the headlight washer system and therefore operates in conjunction with the latter.

A heater element is incorporated on the inside of the camera-housing cover to prevent the optical element from misting over or freezing up. The heater is activated when the rain/light sensor detects precipitation or at temperatures below 32ºF (0ºC).

Night Vision Control Unit

The control unit is accommodated in the front device holder behind the glovebox.

The control unit increases the image data from the camera from 320 x 240 pixels to 640 x 480 pixels. Only one detail is shown in the control display. 640 x 240 pixels are displayed when the "Full screen" function is activated while 400 x 240 pixels are displayed for the splitscreen function. The diagnosis, programming and coding data are transmitted to the camera via the control unit.

BMW Night Vision
Fig. 10: Identifying 12-Pin Plug Connection

The camera and the front-lens heater are powered via the control unit. In addition, the control unit converts the symmetrical image data from the camera into a CVBS signal and, depending on the equipment specification, makes this signal available to either the navigation system or the video module.

The Night Vision control unit is accommodated in the front device holder behind the glovebox.

The camera-housing cover features a 12-pin plug connection.

Button in Light Switch Center

The button for switching BMW Night Vision on and off is integrated in the light switch center.

BMW Night Vision
Fig. 11: Identifying Switch/Button On E65/E66

BMW Night Vision
Fig. 12: Identifying Switch/Button On E60/E61/E64

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    The BMW Night Vision camera is a thermal imaging camera, which converts thermal radiation into electronic signals and then into images visible to the human eye. The thermal image is converted first

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