How to use BMW Head-Up Display

Where do you get all the information you need in traffic and private, but still get through traffic safely and comfortably without taking increased risks or exposing yourself to danger? The BMW Head-Up Display provides an elegant remedy here.

Head-up display on BMW X3

What is a head-up display?

Here you will find technology that inspires, right before your eyes. The head-up display projector is placed under the windscreen, in the dashboard of your vehicle. Using high-end technology, it projects high-quality animations and information directly into the driver’s field of vision.

This means that you can fully focus on what is happening on the road and are no longer distracted by the ringing mobile phone, looking at the navigation system or the speedometer. Never before have you been able to see so much relevant data, bundled together, in one perfectly visible place in the car.

BMW head-up display at a glance

The BMW Head-Up Display goes perfectly with the BMW Live Cockpit and expands the already large range of functions of your BMW with a comprehensive security upgrade.

Because, even a quick look at the speedometer can quickly ensure that a danger in moving traffic is overlooked at high speeds. Thanks to the HUD from BMW, you can stay focused on what is happening on the road at all times and use it to react more quickly to risks.

The new head-up display gives you a detailed overview of all relevant and situation-related information that you need in your car. These include parameters such as: speed, navigation instructions, telephony & entertainment lists, but also warnings from the various driver assistance systems installed in your vehicle.

The system also warns you, if you want, of speed limits and no-overtaking restrictions and shows you the traffic signs in force. All these functions make your car journeys much easier and ensure that your car is safer.

Using head-up display on BMW

Enable or disable Head-Up Display

Head-up Display menu – (photo by BMW)

To turn head-up display on or off, select Settings from the main iDrive menu in the center screen. Then select Head-Up Display and check the box for Head-Up Display.

Control displayed information

To control what information you see via the head-up display, select Displayed Information and check the boxes to make a selection. The setting is stored for the currently used profile.

Displayed Information settings menu on BMW – (photo by BMW)

Adjusting brightness

The brightness can be adjusted manually by selecting Brightness under Head-Up Display settings. Turn the controller until the desired brightness is obtained, then press down on the controller to save.

Adjusting height and rotation

To adjust height and rotation, select those menus individually under Settings>Head-Up Display and turn the controller until the desired setting is reached. Remember to press down on the controller to save.

A look into the future

The first head-up displays could already be found in selected BMW models 20 years ago, but a lot has happened since then and the “rudimentary” screens with simple graphics have evolved into inconspicuous and versatile helpers.

In the near future, these systems will even be able to interact with their environment thanks to the latest technology such as “Augmented Reality”. This feature in your vehicle really and elegantly ensures that you are safer on the road.

The development of the BMW HUD

Compared to its predecessor, the new BMW Head-Up Display has grown by around 50 percent. This enables better, higher quality projection and readability. All information and warnings are transmitted in real time. Junctions and turns are now shown in realistic models, so you never lose sight of your destination and stay perfectly informed. A special coating in the front window of the vehicle prevents the creation of so-called double images. The brightness of the display automatically adapts to the ambient light. This means that the essential information can be easily read at any time of the day.

Personalized head-up display

Of course, you can also personalize your BMW Head-Up Display and change the viewing distance or angle according to your needs. You can choose which information is displayed in addition to the speedometer and make your journey safer and more pleasant.


How does a head-up display work?

In order for the head-up display to work, it needs three components: an imaging unit (projector), a projection surface and an optical module. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are often used as a light source for modern HUDs. The imaging unit is a small TFT display. This image is rotated and mirrored by the optical modules in the system and then appears on the windshield, which is used as a projection surface. In order to avoid irritating ghosts and double images, the windshield is provided with a wafer-thin coating.

Can I retrofit a head-up display in my car?

Yes, it is possible to retrofit a head-up display in the vehicle. In this case, however, the HUD is not let in but put on and connected to the navigation system and the on-board computer in order to receive all relevant data. However, it is imperative that a navigation system from the BMW Business or Professional series is installed in the car in order to retrofit the head-up display.

Original BMW accessory, retrofit head-up display for BMW vehicles – (photo by BMW)

What information can be shown in the head-up display?

The head-up display can be easily customized. So you get all the information you need. You can have ready-made layouts displayed, but you can also put together your own layout with the following points.

  • Entertainment / phone
  • Distance information / lane departure warning
  • Speed ​​/ RPM
  • Navigation
  • Indicator & warning lights
Author: Nabeel K

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1 year ago

You still have to focus on the HUD! You are not focusing on the road when you focus on the HUD! Whilst Focusing on a black spot on a white sheet of paper you can’t read what’s on surrounding paper, plus the glare and reflection problems are a complete joke. Driving isn’t a video game. The clearer the screen area whilst driving the better IMHO. I’ve heard far more people complaining about the HUD than liking it. We have just cancelled the idea of a new BMW purchase as my wife and I both hate it.