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DETROIT AUTO SHOW

GoPro camera integration spreads to cars and trucks

Dash cams can catch all the action as you drive

Published: January 15, 2015 04:30 PM

Installing a camera in a Mini Cooper

Everybody wants to see what you’re doing, and increasingly, consumers are seeking ways to share their experiences. Furthering this trend, at least three new cars at the Detroit auto show boasted integration with GoPro cameras to record live action as you’re driving. These models join the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, which incorporates its own camera and performance data recorder.

Both the new BMW 6 Series and the current Mini Cooper integrate GoPro mini video camera controls into their respective iDrive and Mini Connected center screens. BMW Product Planning Manager Patrick McKenna says the GoPro camera can be mounted anywhere on or in the car and pairs with your cell phone, which connects with the car via a GoPro app. The Mini’s or BMW’s center screen will show the GoPro’s image so you can line up and get the angle you want. The image disappears as soon as you put the car in gear so you can't watch yourself driving in a video game.

Check our complete coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

GoPro camera in a 2016 Toyota Tacoma

To capture your off-road adventures, the Toyota Tacoma includes a built-in mount for a GoPro. The mount is behind the windshield, on the right side of the rearview mirror, positioned to help line up the angle of the camera. But you’ll have to dig out your cell phone to double-check the image; no electronic controls are integrated.

The 2014 and ’15 Corvettes use their own forward-facing lane-watch camera to record images of the road ahead and overlay a selection of performance data: speed, G-forces, acceleration, and braking. You make the selections on the center screen, but you can’t see the video behind the wheel. It records the video on an SD card you insert into the glove box.

Automakers say these connections are designed to record your driving adventures, for example helping drivers optimize their lap times on a race track.

What no one has mentioned is the ubiquity of dashboard video cameras in Russia that record all kinds of traffic antics and instantly provide a record of any events leading up to an accident. As more automakers provide video camera integration in the United States, expect insurance companies to start clamoring for that data.

Eric Evarts

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