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Ever been curious as to how reverse parking sensors work? These little marvels at the back of your vehicle allow is to reverse safely out of a parking space or down our driveway with more confidence. They effectively detect any type of obstacle in our cars path and give out a little beep! These days they are also easy to retro fit to any vehicle as well….So how do they do it!

Two key types

Parking sensors are termed many different names, from Park Assist to Park Distance Control, Parktronic to EPS but effectively they are classed in two different ways, electromagnetic or ultrasonic.

Ultrasonic Sensor type

The Ultrasonic variety emit either ultrasonic waves or they emit radio waves. These waves basically bounce off objects that are behind your car (I suppose like some wild animals use echolocation). The waves that return are then captured buy the computer inside your car and analysed. The computer then measures the time that it took for the wave to return to the sensor and also changes in the spectrum and length of the wave, then the computer effectively can understand the size and proximity of the object behind your car. If the wave returns very fast then the computer knows that an object is very close behind the car and thus emits an alarm sound.

Electromagnetic Sensor type

These sensors (as the name suggests) operate using electromagnetic waves. A transceiver strip effectively generates an elliptical near field behind your vehicle and then objects will meet a certain mass requirement to disturb the field. Then a detector basically picks up the voltage charge and sends the info to a computer inside the car. The computer will then go through a process of analysis of the data to find out the distance to the object and then alters the driver with a series of tones. These tones will be grown progressively louder when your car gets closer to the object behind.

Here at Bowers we can supply and install a whole range of reversing and safety systems. To get your new safety system installed please call 01782 590 700 or alternatively email

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