You Can Take Selfies in the BMW iX M60, So That’s What I Did

BMW Selfie Camera

BMW didn’t introduce its in-car camera as a new feature at CES 2024, but it was the first time many got to try it and see what it’s like.

I count myself among those who haven’t had a chance to use the camera despite the feature being available in select iX vehicles for a year or two thus far in some markets. Rather than abandoning the idea, the German automaker showcased it in Las Vegas in an iX M60 luxury all-electric SUV as part of its infotainment feature lineup.

The idea is basic all around: A fisheye lens up top captures the whole interior cabin and will snap a photo or burst of three photos upon request. You can do that by going to the Interior Camera app in the infotainment system and tapping through the few menu selections to put it into action or tell it by voice.

When I said, “Hey BMW, take a selfie,” it proceeded to do just that.

BMW Selfie Camera

Other than a voice prompt, smiling directly at the camera can also act as a shutter, or you could use a three-second timer to compose yourself before it goes off. Since it covers the whole cabin, everyone in the vehicle will be in the shot, unless someone in the back hides behind one of the front seats to avoid the camera’s gaze. It’s a fixed focus lens without many frills, and though I couldn’t get an answer on the exact resolution and image sensor, images aren’t going to blow anyone away in quality.

BMW Selfie Camera

Perhaps the paramount question would be why BMW would even want to do this. Company reps noted it’s part of a more connected and interactive experience in the cabin, which will now have the ability to play video games, either with a phone or PlayStation 5 controller based on the demos I saw there — not to mention video streaming as well.

Once my photo was taken, I had the choice to download it via a QR code that appeared on the infotainment display. For CES, BMW had a photo printer outside outputting branded photo booth-style strips, but that’s not what a typical driver or passenger will get.

BMW Selfie Camera

Normally, the images would upload to the cloud and appear in the My BMW app under the same account associated with the car where you can then download them onto your phone. You have the ability to shoot either single images or a capture a burst of three. From there, you download it and do with it what you will. There is no way to share it on social media or send it to someone directly from the vehicle as far as I saw.

BMW Selfie Camera

Regulations in the U.S. and Canada only allow for the interior camera to be accessible when fully stopped, though there was some confusion when I asked if stopping at a red light and being parked were the same in that respect. Either way, you can’t just snap pics while cruising down the road. In Europe, the rules stipulate that a vehicle can still roll at a really slow speed (about two to three miles per hour) when capturing images.

Naturally, the interior camera has a safety element to it in case of a collision but BMW added this photography feature, which will be included in select vehicles with an interior camera and running BMW OS 8.5 or 9. You can’t record any video through it using the Interior Camera app, nor can you control or interact with it using the My BMW app — at least not as far as photos go.

It does appear, however, that anyone in the cabin can activate the camera to take photos. My voice worked just as well as the BMW rep so, theoretically at least, a passenger anywhere inside the vehicle can tell the camera to snap a photo, to the driver’s chagrin. One trick I discovered was if the driver simply activates the voice assistant immediately upon hearing the passenger issue the command, it would nullify the request. That should make for a lot of fun on the road with mischievous passengers.

Image credits: Ted Kritsonis for PetaPixel