BMW’s surround view camera system is one of the best on the market right now. Get it on your car and you’ll be able to see a projected image on your screen, showing you exactly what’s happening all around the vehicle. It’s pretty awesome but how many times did you think about just how cool it would be if you could use these hidden cameras to film your surroundings? Well, it looks like BMW thought of that as well they are offering you the chance to do that with the new BMW Drive Recorder.

This is another new addition to the options list you can tick when configuring your car. It can be ordered in conjunction with Parking Assistant Plus and is available for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, BMW 7 Series, BMW 8 Series, new BMW X5 and new BMW X7. The BMW Drive Recorder uses the cameras of the various driver assistance systems to record video footage from different points around the vehicle, before saving the recordings so they can be either watched later on the Control Display when the car is stationary or exported via the USB port.

You can therefore shoot videos while driving through various scenarios or while on the race track, and then send these videos to your mobile device and share them in any way you see fit. Recordings can be up to 40 seconds in length, comprising the 20 seconds of video saved immediately prior to the Drive Recorder being activated and the next 20 seconds. The Drive Recorder can be started at any time from the iDrive menu.

Another benefit of the system is that, in the event of a collision, the 20 seconds before the accident and the 20 seconds following it are automatically recorded and saved, so they can be referred back to in any subsequent reconstruction of the incident, thus offering you your very own on-board camera system without any additional hassle. I know that’s going to be in high demand in Russia!