Here's what parking sensors are and how they work

Here's what parking sensors are and how they work

Operation, assembly, all about parking sensors.

Among the various options that have made their way into the automotive world over the last few years, parking sensors have been the ones most appreciated by motorists. The modern design of the cars, especially that of bulky vehicles such as SUV s , has made it increasingly difficult to calculate the dimensions of your vehicle when parking and, often, precisely in this phase, you end up accidentally hitting obstacles or other parked cars. damaging or scratching even his own. Parking sensors were created precisely to preserve the car body in this delicate phase and quickly spread to become a practically indispensable option.

Autonomous car leaves the Parking. draiverless vehicle in the city street on the night

Parking sensors: what they are

When we talk about parking sensors , we mean a device consisting of sensors positioned on the front and rear bumpers that emit ultrasonic waves when they intercept the nearest obstacle, sending information to an electronic board. The parking sensors are hidden in the vehicle’s bumpers , so as not to affect the design of the car, and at the moment of the maneuver they emit an acoustic signal that becomes greater or more insistent as you approach the obstacle. Parking sensors have evolved over time to become one of the most advanced driver assistance systems .

How parking sensors work

The operation of the parking sensors is not overly complex. The sensors emit ultrasonic waves and send them to the control unit. This, called controller, processes the information and transmits it to a loudspeaker that emits intermittent tones with variable intensity and frequency to give the idea of ​​the variability of the distance and of the approaching contact. As an alternative to the acoustic warnings, it is possible to find the presence on the dashboard of luminous LEDs that light up progressively the closer you get to the obstacle. There are also parking sensors that combine the two systems.

Front parking sensors: how do they work?

As mentioned, the parking sensors can be installed on both the front and rear bumpers, but for greater peace of mind when carrying out a parking maneuver, it is preferable to opt for both solutions. The front parking sensors work in the same way as indicated above. The sensors on the front bumper emit a sound wave that bounces off obstacles and is directed towards a receiver sensor. The control unit is able to evaluate the distance from the obstacle and will warn the driver with acoustic or luminous indications of the approach of the same.

Rear parking sensors: how do they work?

The rear parking sensors work in the same way, but are activated only when reverse gear is engaged . They usually come into operation when the vehicle is less than 1.5 meters from the first obstacle and a first acoustic warning will be heard in the passenger compartment. As it moves backwards, the acoustic frequency of the warning will increase until it becomes continuous when it is 40 centimeters from it.

Close up of rear parking sensors of a luxury car

Parking sensor system: just an option?

The parking sensor system is now present on all types of cars, from the most expensive to the common city cars , and is offered as an option by the various manufacturers. If during the purchase of your car you have decided to do without this device and you regret it, it is possible to remedy it with various very functional aftermarket solutions .

 Can the parking sensors be put on even after the purchase of the car if it does not have one? The answer is yes and the offers available online are numerous and suitable for all budgets.

Interior of premium car with rearview camera dynamic trajectory turning lines and parking assistant steering wheel turned right. Driver assistance parking system. Help assist options of luxury car.

Mounting the parking sensors

Once you have chosen the system that best suits you, mounting the front and rear  parking sensors  will not be complex at all. First of all, you should paint the sensors the same color as the bumper of your car so as not to have an unsightly effect at the end of the operation. Once this step has been completed, trace the sensor line with a linear meter taking the reference of 50 – 70 cm from the ground as a value. Next, pierce the bumper to insert the parking sensors. It will be sufficient to make two holes in the central part and two in each side to have a complete management of obstacles. Then locate the cable that connects to the reverse light and insert a cable into the eyelet attached to the light. In the rear bonnet, identify a space to be reserved for the control unit and then connect the cables of the individual sensors. Once this is complete, it is time to install the parking sensor display on the dashboard. Route the display cable under the pedal board and remove the dashboard. Once you have finished  installing the parking sensors, reassemble the various pieces and test that the parking sensor system works correctly.

Automatic braking system concept.

Parking sensors: which ones to choose

There are numerous types of parking sensors on the market , equipped with wireless or electromagnetic technology. Let’s go and analyze them.

Wireless parking sensors

The wireless parking sensors , as the same abbreviation says, are sensors equipped with wireless technology that allows simple installation, without having to drill holes in the car’s bumper. The wireless parking sensors will be positioned on a dedicated license plate holder and their power supply will come from the illumination light reserved for the license plate. The internal display is powered by the car’s cigarette lighter and will communicate with the parking sensors via Wi-Fi technology. Unfortunately, the opinions on these wireless parking sensors are not entirely favorable. They are less accurate than standard sensors and in some cases the signal may fail, thus making their usefulness vanish.

sensor and camera systems of vehicle, autonomous car, driverless vehicle

Electromagnetic parking sensors

The electromagnetic parking sensors are a further innovation in the field, which consists of an adhesive strip to be placed inside the bumper instead of the 4 ultrasonic sensors. When reverse gear is engaged, the adhesive strip is activated by the electronic control unit and generates an electromagnetic field. In the presence of obstacles, the electromagnetic field warns the control unit and then the display is activated and an acoustic signal will be emitted. The assembly of the electromagnetic parking sensors takes place without drilling holes but by positioning the strip inside the bumper. The price is higher than the standard solution, but it is a technology certainly destined to spread.