2012 Audi A8L: As BSM Goes, I Do Like This One
March 16, 2012
Two blind-spot montioring posts in one day. You guys are so blessed! To the point, though, Josh's earlier post today on our Mazda 3's blind-spot monitoring system made me think of our Audi A8's setup. Setting aside the argument of BSM effectiveness in Los Angeles traffic for the moment, I do like the way Audi designs its BSM system.
Rather than put a little warning light in the mirror like a lot of automakers do (stock Mazda 3 photo here), Audi uses the setup pictured in my main photo, with four brighter lights mounted in the housing. I find this design suits me better as the Audi's lights are more easily seen just using peripheral vision; I barely have to shift my eyes to see if the BSM light is illuminated or not. On other cars, you pretty much have to look at the mirror to see the integrated BSM light.
The above is especially true if you position your side mirrors properly for the blind spots to begin with. In this case, the Audi BSM means you can just readily rely on the light to supplement what's going on in the mirror, allowing you to focus more on what's going on ahead of you. Maybe some people would argue they don't want to see lights so easily (preferring the subtler light-in-mirror and audio approach,) but for me its preferable.
Incidentally, our A8 is also currently set up to just flash the light if you engage the turn signal with a car in the blind spot rather than sound off an audio warning. As for a possible audio option within the MMI system, alas, I'm not currently near the A8 to check it out.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor