It can get really frustrating when you're already late for work and you still have to park your car in a cramped space. And as if the universe still hasn't gotten enough laughs at your ruined mood, the free space requires you to Parallel Park. A very promising day, right? What you need is a parking assist sensor. It won't guarantee you a free parking space anywhere you go, but it will save you the hassle when parking; parallel or otherwise.
- An electromagnetic parking sensor gives off a warning when it detects an obstacle in your way when you are parking in reverse. If your vehicle stops on its approach, the sensor will continue to quietly warn you of the presence of an obstacle. On the other hand, if you choose to drive on, the sensor's warning will become more prominent as you get nearer.
- An ultrasonic parking sensor-like the electromagnetic sensor-gives off a warning signal as you approach an obstruction. One of their main differences is the method of how they calculate an obstruction. An ultrasonic sensor predicts an obstruction by means of how fast or slow sound waves bounce back. The problem with this is that the sensor might miss a flat or small obstruction that cannot reflect sound, hence, resulting to a fender bender or a larger damage to your car.
Audible beeps are the most common feedback of parking sensors. The intensity and the frequency of the beeps depend on the speed at which you are driving, and the distance of the obstruction. Usually, a continuous and high squeal is heard when your vehicle is getting extremely close.
More sophisticated parking assist systems make use of visual aids like LCD or LED readouts. Others have specific screen monitors that not only calculate the distance of the vehicle and the obstruction, but also capture an actual visual from your tail. Although, these things come for a price.