MINI drivers looking to recreate the classic chase scene from The Italian Job will be able to remotely control their GoPro from the car's dashboard, as it and select BMW models become the first to integrate the action camera. The new app hooks up the MINI Connected and BMW Apps infotainment systems to a WiFi-equipped GoPro, allowing it to be remotely turned on and off, switched between recording modes, and previews viewed.
As well as GoPro's regular modes - photos, video, or burst images - the system will also include a number of car-centric options to suit different scenes. These range from regular "leisure" driving, through night footage, sports, winding or straight road types, and when the camera is facing inside the car to capture the driver themselves.
In addition to stopping and starting recording, the app can be used to track the battery status of the GoPro, what storage is remaining, and the strength of the WiFi connection.
In order for the integration to work, the MINI or BMW itself will need to be from the 2012 model year or later, and fitted with a compatibility head unit - either the Radio MINI Visual Boost, the MINI navigation system, or the MINI Professional navigation system, or a BMW Apps-compatible unit in a BMW - and hooked up to an iPhone, which is responsible for actually running the BMW Apps or MINI Connected software. The updated software will be in the App Store this month.
When the car is stationary, a preview from the camera can be watched. Meanwhile, the GoPro can be remotely switched into standby mode to save power.
Shooting a permanent record of your best track time has been increasingly popular, with GoPro leading the way among action cameras. That hasn't stopped car manufacturers themselves from trying their hand: later this year, Chevrolet's 2015 Corvette Z06 will be offered with a Performance Data Recorder option that records 720p video from a camera mounted above the rear-view mirror and can play it back on the dashboard's integrated display.