Due to safety and comfort requirements, modern cars are becoming more capacious, and at the same time technologies that provide maneuvering and parking are evolving. The simplest of them became available early in many mass models, but the complex ones had to fight for the attention of customers. Despite the longer adoption process, many now truly appreciate their help.
Ultrasonic sensor technology was developed in the 1970s to help blind and partially sighted people navigate the environment. It was later used in the transport industry and was later introduced into production cars.
Ultrasonic sensors determine the distance based on how long the sound waves bounce off objects, such as cars, curbs, building walls, etc. The driver hears audible warnings in the form of beeps in the passenger compartment, and beeps become more frequent when approaching an obstacle.
In modern cars, the acoustic signals are complemented by the car’s silhouette on the central screen, which graphically displays the distance to the obstacle. It is the most widely used parking assistant and is available on many new models. So it is not surprising that it is found even in small city cars such as Kia Rio, Fiat 500, Volkswagen Polo, etc.
This technology first appeared in cars in the 1960s, but was only massively introduced at the beginning of this century.
The principle of operation is very simple – the camera hidden in the boot lid transmits the image to the central screen when reversing, allowing the driver to see what is behind the car. In most cases, the rear view is complemented by the car’s trajectory projection lines.
When using the new assistant for the first time, drivers were confused, but quickly got used to it.
Although the technology is widely available, its use is partially limited by the need for a high-resolution color screen. The camera is not usually included in the basic equipment of economy class models, but is offered in more expensive versions. However, it is already used in several popular city cars.
This technology combines video signals from multiple cameras on the car body in a single stream to create a summary image of the car as if viewed from above.
The car and its surroundings are visible on the central screen, which makes it easier for the driver to assess whether the intended parking space is wide enough and the distance to the nearest obstacle. The system usually works only at low speeds and when the car is parked, and you can see the image from the front, rear and both side cameras on the screen at the same time.
The system has become popular relatively recently and is most common in SUVs such as the Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Parking assistance systems
The first parking assist systems, introduced in 2003, did not become widespread, but over time they have improved considerably. This is good news for drivers who are intimidated by parallel or perpendicular parking, as the car is able to cope with part of the task on its own.
The active parking support system works with sensors, cameras and software. The most modern systems recognize free parking spaces not only by the distance between cars, but also by the parking lot marking.