Over the past four years, GoPro video cameras have become standard equipment for BMW enthusiasts—autocrossers, racers, cruisers, drifters, rallyists, you name it. Now, the BMW Group and GoPro officially have teamed up to make using newer GoPro cameras with BMWs or Minis easy and convenient.
The BMW Group Technology Office and GoPro have developed a system that integrates the GoPro camera with a vehicle’s on-board infotainment devices. In BMW Group vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps or Mini Connected option, a GoPro camera may now be configured and controlled using BMW’s iDrive controller and high-resolution screen.
Starting in July 2014, the car-camera integration will be functional on all model year 2012 and later BMW Group vehicles equipped with the BMW Apps or Mini Connected option, when used with a Wi-Fi-equipped GoPro (Hero3+ or later) camera. The updated GoPro App can now be downloaded free from the iTunes Store https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gopro-app/id561350520.
Phil Johnston, head of BMW Group AppCenter USA said, “Working with GoPro to design this integration was remarkable.” Johnston described the experience as “creative and insightful.”
Based on the proliferation of videos on the Internet, it is already obvious that GoPro is a natural fit for BMW enthusiasts. “GoPro has deep roots in motorsports and is passionate about enabling drivers to capture their road or track experience,” said Adam Silver, GoPro Director of Strategic Product Opportunities. “The GoPro and BMW collaboration sets a new standard in the category and is an important first step in a partnership designed to deliver next-level integration between camera and car.”
The BMW-GoPro integration is designed to reduce driver distraction and enhance the experience for which the cars and cameras are best known. Users may use the vehicle’s central information screen to aim the camera, and may also choose between six pre-set 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. The camera’s “Record” function may be started and stopped by the driver whenever he or she wants. The on-board screen can also display camera status indicators such as recording elapsed time, battery life, and Wi-Fi signal strength. The user may also toggle the camera’s “Sleep” mode to prolong battery life.
So how exactly do the car, camera, and phone work together?
First, the model year 2012 or later BMW or Mini must be equipped with the BMW Apps or Mini Connected option. Next, the user’s Wi-Fi-equipped GoPro camera (HERO3+ and later) communicates with the GoPro App installed on the driver’s iPhone 4 or later, which must be connected to the vehicle either through the iPhone USB cable or the BMW Accessory snap-in adaptor for iPhone. The driver will access the App through the BMW ConnectedDrive or Mini Connected menu, which is displayed on the large central screen. For reasons known best to lawyers and legislators, the camera preview function is only available when the car is parked.
This video from GoPro illustrates the process:
If you want to capture your participation in motorsports activities with your BMW or Mini, or if you just want to record what’s going on in front of you on the highway, BMW and GoPro have made it relatively easy.—Scott Blazey
[Photos courtesy of BMW AG.]