If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent countless hours hunched over a GoPro suction cupped to the front of your car, trying to capture the perfect angle of a road race or scenic drive. But now, thanks to a new partnership between BMW and GoPro, recording your on-road antics and adventures just got a whole lot easier.
Starting in July, owners of all BMW and MINI models – built in 2012 or later – fitted with the BMW Apps or MINI Connected option, respectively, will be able control his or her GoPro camera from the comfort of the driver seat through the iDrive infotainment unit.
How does it work? Rather simply. The driver plugs an iPhone 4 (or later) running the GoPro App into the BMW or MINI’s USB port. Selecting the ConnectedDrive menu on iDrive will allow the driver to access and control a Wi-Fi-equipped GoPro camera (HERO3+ or later).
In the GoPro App in the ConnectedDrive system, drivers will be able to select from one of six preset camera modes: Leisure Drive Facing Out, Night Driving, Sport Driving, Sport Driving Facing Out, Drive Camera Facing In, Winding Road Time-lapse, and Straight Road Time-lapse.
Just as with the standard GoPro App function, the driver can start and stop recording with the camera at any time. Rather than digging through the iPhone, though, users will be able to easily access it all through iDrive.
In addition displaying to video from the GoPro, the in-dash 10.2-inch screen displays the camera’s vital stats including elapsed recording time, battery life, and Wi-Fi signal strength.
While not quite as comprehensive as the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Performance Data Recorder option, in terms of telemetry overlays on the video capture, this clever new addition is far more accessible. Rather than being forced to choose the option at the dealer, current and future owners can simply go and purchase a GoPro if they wish to opt into the new feature.
Just remember, as brilliant and thoughtful as this may be, don’t record yourself breaking any road laws and upload it to the web. Even if you’re a brilliant driver or the next Martin Scorsese, law enforcement agencies will still ticket you.