Parking Sensors Make Parking Easier


Parking Sensors Make Parking Easier

Parallel parking is often regarded as the bane of most drivers’ existence. After all, drivers have to determine how much space their vehicle needs and where the vehicle’s front and rear bumpers are. Stick a new driver behind the wheel and ask them to parallel park, and this can be a very difficult task to do successfully.

Parallel parking means moving forward and backward repeatedly, perhaps even putting your head out the window or getting out to see how close you are to the vehicles you’re trying to park in between. It’s certainly a hassle, and it would be great if some kind of parking sensor would be developed to make the parallel parking job easier.

Great news! Most modern cars can now be fitted with parking sensors.

To understand how parking sensors work, you need first to understand radar, which means Radio Detection and Ranging, and how it works. Radar works by sending radio waves of a particular frequency and length that bounce off a metal object and go back to a receiving dish. Once this happens, one can calculate the object’s location, speed and distance.

Interesting Tidbit: Radar was instrumental in helping the British to detect inbound German bombers and formulate a response.

Now, parking sensors are quite similar to radar, but they’re not using radio waves to transmit nearby objects. They use either ultrasonic or electromagnetic sensors to detect objects. What’s the difference between ultrasonic and electromagnetic parking sensors? Is one better than the other?


A Look At Ultrasonic Parking Sensors

Ultrasonic parking sensors will emit waves that reflect off objects and determines the amount of time for it to come back and changes in the wavelength. The sensor will emit an alarm, which increases in beeps, when you’re close to an object. The majority of ultrasonic parking sensors are designed to detect objects that are between five and 15 meters away.

There are two issues with this type of sensor:

  • It cannot easily detect small objects or certain materials such as blood, flesh or plastic because they don’t reflect the ultrasonic waves.
  • The sensors, which line across the vehicle’s bumper, may not work properly if covered by dirt or grime.


A Look At Electromagnetic Parking Sensors

Electromagnetic parking sensor can also be used to judge distance of objects from the vehicle. A transceiver strip produces an electromagnetic field that senses changes in an object’s voltage. The processor will read and relay this information to set the beeper alarm off. This system is ideal for detecting moving objects in your way.

The parking sensor technology is installed on self-driving vehicles, which use a laser, radar or ultrasonic-proximity sensors to determine the distance from objects like other vehicles. With this technology, the vehicle can alter its speed. The idea is to use the technology’s information and GPS coordinates to create a totally autonomous design that no longer needs a person’s input.

Most people are familiar with the backup camera, which is an improvement over the parking sensor system. The camera provides drivers with a clear look at what is behind their vehicle with no obstructions.

With this technology in play, no longer do you have to gauge your distance when parallel parking. It’s all done for you!

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