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BMW, GoPro team up on in-car camera system

Feature will be available on model year 2012 and later vehicles equipped with BMW Apps or MINI Connected option.

By Douglas Newcomb Jun 13, 2014 1:55PM

BMW GoPro integration. Photo by BMW.Thanks to technology, car enthusiasts that like to monitor their driving on road and track have more factory-offered tools than ever before.

Following digital racing add-ons by Toyota and Chevrolet, BMW has partnered with GoPro to integrate the company’s popular cameras into existing vehicles using a smartphone app that allows drivers to control the cameras with the infotainment system.

To add the feature, owners of 2012 and later models equipped with the BMW Apps option (or a MINI with MINI Connected) and a Wi-Fi-equipped GoPro camera only need download the latest GoPro App for iPhones. Once an iPhone 4 (or later) with the app is connected to the vehicle either through a USB cable or a BMW snap-in adaptor, the driver can operate aspects of the camera using the car’s iDrive controller and in-dash screen.

Through the BMW ConnectedDrive (or MINI Connected) menu, the owner can set a camera angle they want or choose six preset camera modes: Leisure Drive Facing Out, Night Driving, Sport Drive Facing Out, Drive Camera Facing In, Winding Road Time-lapse and Straight Road Time-lapse. Menu choices appear to the left of the screen and the camera’s field of view is displayed in what BMW called “near real-time” while the vehicle is stationary.

The camera’s recording function can be started and stopped using the car’s controls and a driver can also activate the camera’s sleep mode to extend battery life between shots. Camera stats such as recording elapsed time, battery life and Wi-Fi signal strength are displayed on the screen.

“GoPro is a natural fit for BMW enthusiast drivers,” said Phil Johnston, head of BMW Group AppCenter USA, in a statement. “When the camera is connected to the car, it allows GoPro’s app to present context-appropriate presets that allow the enthusiast to capture the perfect shot.”

Earlier this year, Toyota introduced a Sports Drive Logger that can sync with the "Gran Turismo 6" video game on the Sony PlayStation3 to capture data such as steering angle, gear selection, pedal position, engine revs and vehicle speed and transfer it to a PS3 via USB for viewing later. But that option is only for the Japanese-market Toyota 86, or what we know in the U.S. as the Scion FR-S.

Chevrolet unveiled a new Performance Data Recorder feature at the Consumer Electronics Show in January for the 2015 Corvette Stingray. It uses an onboard camera -- without sticking a GoPro to the exterior -- that lets owners record, analyze and even share their driving skills via social media.

BMW GoPro integration. Photo by BMW.[Source: BMW]

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