Parking aids come in various guises from two sensors in the rear bumper or number plate through to four sensor front, four sensor rear kits and now becoming more common, reversing and front view cameras.
The most popular system we fit is a four sensor rear mounted kit. These we normally match to the car colour using the paint code for a accurate match so there isn’t unsightly black circles across the rear. This isn’t such a problem on dark colour vehicles but the most popular colours are Silver and White at the moment. On some installations we can flush mount the sensors into the bumper which means with the paint match they are barely visible. As you reverse the audio warning beeps progressive faster as you get closer to the obstruction and changes to a solid tone approx 45cm (18inch) away. If the car as a towbar, rear step or maybe a overhanging spare wheel on a 4×4 on this can be accommodated for. Optionally displays can be fitted to give a visual indication as well as the sound.
A front kit is similar except it is activated automatically when the ignition is turned on with a override switch as most factory fitted systems are or can be connected in such a way it monitors the speed of the car and turns on and off at a preset speed, normally about 5MPH.
Different kits are available for vehicles with metal rear bumpers (vans, Land Rovers) where a conventional kit can’t be used as well as for larger commercials and trailers with sensors built into side marker units which change colour to indicate the distance.
Cameras are now becoming more popular due to the reduction in cost and increase in performance for both front and rear. These originally started by being mainly fitted to vans and trucks where there was no or poor rear visibility and are a legal requirement in some cases.
There is a wide range available for different applications, some only 30mm square to hide under a panel or behind a grill, built into number plate lights or surround or flush mounted into a panel/bumper. Some also have infra red LEDs for better performance in the dark but with improvements in sensitivity in low light conditions this is becoming less needed.
The new generation with multi view allow the camera to “see” down the road if for example pulling out of a side turning or parking space when front mounted or switch between rear view, almost like a mirror or top looking down on the rear bumper for accurate manoeuvring for example to reverse up to a trailer without hitting the rear of the tow vehicle.
We’ve also fitted cameras in the rear of horseboxes to monitor the horses, front and rear cameras to aid hitching up a tow ball and connected to hardrive/SD recorders to keep a record of driving conditions and incidents.
Twin lenses in one body are becoming established as a popular choice for motor homes and vehicles with poor or no rear visibility. This has a wide view camera looking down towards the bumper for reversing up to something, manoeuvring into a loading bay or parking. The second lens is more horizontal with a narrower viewing angle and looks down the road to use as you would a conventional mirror. The image can be displayed on a standalone monitor, navigation system screen or a rear view mirror with a integrated screen for the picture.
Visit our gallery for some of our previous installations.