BMW Great Britain has launched what it claims is the first head-up display (HUD) system in a right hand drive car sold in the UK.

The move is also significant because the UK is the brand's key RHD market and the availability of a model or option here usually ensures its availability for other RHD markets such as Japan, Australia and South Africa.

HUD's key advantage is allowing the 5 series driver to keep eyes on the road whilst checking road speed, crucial in speed camera-infested Britain. Check Control (warning) messages, cruise control settings and navigation instructions are also available.

BMW says that research into driver fatigue shows that continual refocusing of the driver's eyes between the instruments and the road ahead is a significant contributor to drowsiness.

The HUD uses a thin film transistor screen and a four-mirror projector to beam an 18 x 9 centimetre square image onto the windscreen. Up to 300 different warning messages can be displayed on the windscreen in addition to navigation directions. A button next to the light switch on the dashboard enables the driver to alter the light intensity or turn the system off.

HUD must be ordered in conjunction with a navigation system and is available on 5 series cars built from January, priced at £880.