Parking, especially parallel parking, can be tough for the inexperienced driver. However, these days there is technology that helps to make this easier. Parking sensors such as parking assist will make it easier for the driver to park without the risk of bumping into anything. The following is an overview of how this technology works, the two different types of parking sensors, and their pros and cons.
HOW PARKING SENSORS WORK
There are different sensors from different manufacturers, but the
technology behind them is the same. Whenever the driver wants to park in
a tight spot, they will press a button which activates the parking
assist. The system has sensors which can help the driving to identify an
empty spot in the parking lot. The driver will then begin to reverse
while gently placing their foot on the brakes. Older models would begin
to beep as the driver approached an obstacle, and they would beep more
frantically as they drove closer and closer towards the obstacle. This
will help the driver to know when to stop reversing so that they can
park properly. Newer models will however help the car to park itself by
sensing the obstacles around it and ensuring that the car does not hit
anything. As the car approaches an obstacle, the parking assist will
sense it and the car will stop reversing. It will move slightly forward
so that the car can fit perfectly into the parking spot. However, the
driver will still be involved in the process as they will have to step
on the brakes in order to check the speed of the car.
TYPES OF PARKING SENSORS
There are two major types of sensors:
- Ultrasonic systems
- Electromagnetic systems
Ultrasonic systems are placed onto the bumper of a car and they can
calculate the distance between the car and an obstacle with the help of
acoustic pulses. When these sound waves are reflected, the sensor will
be able to tell how near or far an obstacle is. They will then send
signals to the driver using acoustic sounds. The nearer the obstacle is,
the faster and more frequent the beeping will be.
ADVANTAGES OF ULTRASONIC SENSORS
1. They are very cheap.
2. They can detect obstacles even if the car is not moving.
DISADVANTAGES OF ULTRASONIC SENSORS
1. The driver has to drill their bumper or stick the sensor onto it, and this is quite unattractive.
2. They are designed to only detect obstacles from the front or back of
the car. They cannot detect any obstacles towards the side of the car.
3. They sometimes miss small or narrow objects. Inclines such as a steep ramps can deflect the acoustic waves.
4. They are not perfect for use with a tow bar.
Electromagnetic sensors create an electromagnetic field around the
vehicle's bumper. Therefore, any obstacle that enters this field will
trigger a warning.
ADVANTAGES OF ELECTROMAGNETIC SENSORS
1. They can be used with tow bars and cycle racks.
2. They are mounted neatly inside the bumper. There is no need to drill the bumper.
DISADVANTAGES OF ELECTROMAGNETIC SENSORS
1. They are quite expensive compared to ultrasonic sensors.
2. They cannot detect objects when the car is stationery. They will only
begin to detect objects when the car has started to move.
Both types of parking sensors are extremely useful for individuals
who usually have trouble parking. As parking spaces get shorter and cars
get wider and longer, it is important to use a parking assist system to
ensure that the vehicle does not hit anything while the driver attempts
to park it.