What is a Parking Sensor?
The development of innovative technologies gives rise to a multitude of devices called to make the life of motorists easier. The parking sensors have gained incredible popularity among these devices. A parking system usually includes an electronic unit, detection indicators, and ultrasonic or electromagnetic sensors. These components allow you to safely park your car in a garage or in any confined space. Thus, the parking sensors will make riding safe and help you protect your car from damage. This review represents the best parking sensors and their key characteristics to pay attention to.
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What Features to Compare
Type and Mounting
When you face choosing the parking sensors, you need to consider their type and mounting location. All parking sensors may be divided into car (installed directly on vehicles) and garage (installed in garages to facilitate parking). You should consider the type of sensors based on your needs. Once you decide on the type, you should proceed to a mounting location. It largely depends on the type. Garage parking sensors may be installed on garage walls or ceiling, depending on the configuration. As regards the car parking sensors, some of them may be mounted on a rear bumper, and this type is the most widespread. The others may be installed on a front bumper; they feature the input for speed sensors, and it allows them to shut off when the speed is over 20 km/h. The combined parking sensors are installed on both bumpers; such sensors are usually more pricey. The method of mounting is also important. The garage parking sensors are normally fixed with double-sided adhesive tapes, and this way of mounting is convenient, since there’s no mess with drilling the holes. The car parking sensors are commonly fixed with mounting screws and anchors to front or rear bumpers and license plates. You should remember that sensors should be installed at least at a height of 45 cm to exclude detection of items on the road surface.
Efficiency and Warning system
The efficiency and notification are the next important features in choosing the parking sensors. The efficiency depends on the number of sensors. Its clear, the more sensors there are, the less blind areas and the better detection will be. You should pay a special attention to the parking systems that include at least 4 sensors. In addition, check on the way of a signal transmission from a sensor to the control unit; it can be wired or wireless. The wired signal transmission is typical for car parking sensors, while the wireless transmission is incidental to garage sensors. Also, consider the detection range, i.e. the distance before a car and an obstacle you should be aware of. The detection range from 0 to 6.0 ft is regarded as the optimal, and a breakdown of the range into 3 areas is benefiсial. The warning and indication system of parking sensors is crucial. Currently, 4 warning systems of parking sensors exist: a sound signal, an image, and a light signal. Let’s describe each one by one. The closer your car approaches an object, the louder the sound signal is. The systems with LED displays changes either its color or the visual scale, depending on the proximity. LCD displays show the full picture of the environment behind your car, and they are usually accompanied by backup cameras, hence such systems are higher in price. The parking sensors with light signals are alike to traffic lights; the light changes its color depending on the distance to an object. Some parking sensors feature laser lights, indicating the distance where your car is about to stop.
Features and Power supply
The features and power supply are the last things to consider when you buy parking sensors. Here we should highlight the function of self-diagnostics. This function means that a parking system performs a diagnostics of all sensors and wiring before each start, otherwise sensors may malfunction. Some sophisticated parking systems are able to determine the distance to an accuracy of a millimeter; that property is usually used for precise hitching of trailers. Another useful feature is the technology that prevents the false warning caused by an echo effect; that may happen in bad weather conditions, during parking on a rough road surface or in a closed space. What is more, the sensors should be dust- and waterproof, in particular the bumper-mounted models. Finally, we consider the power source of parking sensors. Garage parking sensors are generally powered by electricity supply via AC adapters, yet some models can be powered by conventional АА batteries. The sensors with both types of power will be the best option, as the batteries are used as a reserve power source. As for the car parking sensors, they are usually powered by car batteries.