2009 BMW 7 Series Long Term Road Test


2009 BMW 750i: Sideview Cameras

April 29, 2009

BMW750i_cam1.JPG

Though our 2009 BMW 750i is somewhat light on equipment, it does have the Camera Package that adds front sideview cameras and a rear backup camera. The sideview cameras are pretty trick, as James first noted in one of his old TFTC posts. In certain situations, they are very useful.

More on how they work after the jump.

One camera is mounted on each side of the car on the front fender near the wheel. If you're stopped or moving at low speed, you can push a button next to the iDrive controller and the views of the cameras are displayed on the navigation screen via a split-screen.

The camera's main use is in situations when you're pulling out into oncoming traffic and your visibility is blocked. Alleys or crowded city streets with parked cars are both very good environments to use the cameras in.

For example, take a look at the lead photo. You can see how pulling out into the alley could be dangerous.

Here's a representative photo of my completely blocked view out the driver-side window. (It's representative as the lead and next two photos taken weren't quite in the same place, but the result is the same.)

bmw750i_cam2.JPG

Now here's the view from the cameras.

bmw750i_cam3.JPG

The left camera gives a clear view of what's in (or coming down) the alley. The displayed yellow lines indicate the leading edge of the car so you know exactly how far you've pulled out.

I used the cameras a few times durning the time I had the 750i. It sure beats the alternative of slowly inching out into traffic.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor

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