The MINI On Board Camera System

I was surfing through the MINI UK press site a last week and came upon a couple photos with some minimal accompanying text that were quite interesting…. so I'm passing them on. The images from the press site appear to be of two separate on board cameras that eliminate blind spots in both the front and rear of the MINI. It would appear that they are intended for anyone with the optional navigation system as a retrofittable item and available at dealers.

This first image is of the view from the camera in the rear: [photo]. The second is from the on board monitor with images taken by the front camera: [photo] In this second photo the cross-traffic outside the driver's field of vision is clearly visible. The last two images are of the actual cameras themselves: [photo1] [photo2]

The rear camera is operated automatically when the driver shifts into reverse. The front camera operates at the push of a button and is there to literally look around corners. The front unit incorporates a prism that allows it to cover both the left and right side of the car, The idea is that it allows the driver to know what's around sharp corners without creeping into the intersection.

While we haven't seen any concrete figures yet look for pricing to be over $1000 for the rear camera and “well” over $1000 for the front one. There's no word on US availability however we'll probably know more soon. Keep in mind these images are meant for the UK where there are lots of dealer installed, MINI approved accessories that we don't ever get in the US. For all you US gadget lovers out there lets hope that they make it across the pond.

  • Mike

    Even if they don't make it over to the US, no reason we couldn't buy from overseas and install, right? I knew this was a possibility because the BMW TV tuner addition for the Nav screen has an input for cameras… glad to see something has been created. :)

  • Allan

    No camera needed here, just the ol' hand brake and slide into parking spot does the trick for me!

    I don't really get the camera in the front though…

  • MiniGuy

    What are some of the dealer options available in the UK and not here?

  • Gabe

    Well there's the DVD players in the front head-rest for one. I managed to grab a brochure on them while I was in the UK. Then there's the whole range of aftermarket head-units that are MINI approved and dealer installed. Needless to say there are some goodies out there that the US just doesn't get.

  • R50

    Here's something I saw for motorcycles that might be handy for the rear view of the new covertibles. Motocam: a small camera and screen – $650

  • Rocketboy

    Wow, a camera that shows you what's in in front of your car. I don't think I want to know who needs something like that… :)

  • Josh

    I don't see this as useful in the hatchback, but with the limited visibility in the Cabrio, it might make sense.

    Allan, I think the front camera points out to both side, instead of directly in front of the car.

  • dc

    I like the idea of a better.

  • Shawn

    …I wonder if that system has the ability to store inmages…could come in handy considering the strange things that we as drivers see on the road…

  • Irmiger

    40 foot tour bus…I get it. 12 foot Mini Cooper…why?

  • Robert

    Gabe: Am I understanding this correctly. One rear camera one view. On front camera which will have two views left and right.

  • Gabe

    Robert – that's what it looks like. I haven't seen detailed info yet on the system so I can't say for sure.

  • GSKChicago

    What about providing a list on Motoringfile of all the Mini approved accessories that are available outside the US (from all other MINI markets) that we can look through?

    Perhaps more petitions can be started so we can get these items here too?


  • Irmiger

    Robert – The front is forward facing with a prism that splits the image into a joint left/right view. The rear just points backwards and slightly down, but uses a wide angle lens.

  • bandit

    how about an infrared camera, so you can see cops sitting in the median over the horizon? :)

  • zodiac

    If someone need these on a hatch back, especially a MCS he/she need serious help in driving skill. Of course unless the driver is under age and cannot see pass the seat back. :-)

  • Robert

    i like it. may change my mind about installing Nav, if this an option in U.S.

  • Rodney

    I would buy the rear camera in a second. You can never have enough gadgets. I second the list of UK accesories. I'd love to see this list.

  • John

    What about placing the rear camera in the rear fog light area of the '05 and offer a widescreen panorama view???

  • Gabe

    GSK –

    Something you have to remember is that BMW (and now MINI) have always offered a greatly reduced selection of options and accessories for the US market. They have reasons for doing this I'm sure (none of which seem logical to me) and I'd bet they are probably not too willing to change this to appease a petition brought on by owners of the least profitable car they made. Instead of petitioning specific things like rear dvd screens etc I think the best way to make your voice heard is to contact 1 800 ASK MINI and list all of the items you'd be willing to order if they were available in the US.

    In the mean time I'll see if we can do some type of listing for MotoringFile or accessories that aren't available in the US.

  • Robert

    “””In the mean time I'll see if we can do some type of listing for MotoringFile or accessories that aren't available in the US.”””

    Gabe: GREAT IDEA!!!!!!! This would be the best solution to open the eyes of the Mini owners of their options and what they could have or what they are missing out on. Examples: parcel shelf,electric folding mirrors,

  • Q8-MINI

    The price in KUWAIT for the front camera is 1150$ & rear 1000$ ..!!

  • GSKChicago




  • Kirk

    THE reason for less options here is always due to safety concerns which would cause the ever so litigeous society to sue the manufacturer/supplier/dealer when people are truly at fault for their own problems. We can't get the JCW seats due to no airbags. We can't (legally) get TV/Video options to work on the nav screens for the same reason we have to accept a release everytime the car is turned on to use the nav… because some idiot will get in an accident while watching/using it while driving & they will blame MINI. Parcel shelf – things could fall off & affect driving. Consider it (and of course our outrageous taxes) prices we pay for our comparitively far superior living in the U.S. of A.

  • Kevin

    Anyone know of a website listing these options that we can't get in the US?

    I didn't see anything on the few mini international sites i browsed…

    happy motoring!

  • Brian

    I like the InSight Camera at – so much better. 4 cameras and audio.

  • OctaneGuy

    Check out these multi-camera switchable on the fly systems designed for MINI's by a MINI enthusiast.

  • Peter

    Does anyone know who the manufactor of the front camera is?