Parking sensors

How do parking sensors work on cars?

Parking sensors are designed to alert the driver of obstacles when parking. Most of these systems use ultrasonic sensors that emit sound waves, with a controller in the car measuring how long each signal takes to bounce back off an object. This helps it to calculate how far away the object is. It then sounds an alert, which increases in pitch the nearer that the car is to the nearby object.

Systems often also include a diagram on the car's infotainment screen, showing the distance to nearby objects as coloured blocks.

Related Jargon

How do parking assistance systems work in a car?

Parking assist systems use cameras and sensors to help a driver park a car safely.

What does the infotainment system in a car do?

An infotainment system controls a car’s information and entertainment functions, usually through a screen mounted on the dashboard or in the centre console.

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