In-car tech: Parking sensors

We recently ran a survey to see how important in-car tech was to drivers. Find out who wants parking sensors the most, and the different types available.


By Marmalade Author

Updated on Aug 4th, 2022

This month is all about in-car tech, and whether you love it or loathe it, it’s hard to get away from it in modern cars! In a recent survey of 371 people, we wanted to find out what bits of in-car tech we use the most, and how important it is to our everyday driving routines. Let’s talk about parking sensors!

Who wants parking sensors?

49% of those who took part in our survey wished they had parking sensors in their car and 21% said they have parking sensors fitted to their car, and they find them very important with their everyday parking. Of those who wish they had parking sensors, 69% of them were between the ages of 17-24. It would seem that older drivers have more experience in parking so are less likely to want to rely on the tech to help them.

How do parking sensors work?

This little bit of tech is designed to help you back in and out of a parking space or driveway, without the worry of hitting something behind you. They will detect objects in your path and beep to let you know you need to stop and check behind your car.

Type of parking sensors

There are 3 different types of parking sensors, all of which have pros and cons.

Rear-facing parking cameras give you a view of the road behind you, on a small screen inside the car. They will also cover any blind spots when you’re reversing into a smaller space. This tech will generally also turn itself on only when you put the car into reverse which will save a lot of energy. A downside to rear parking cameras is they can be a quite expensive piece of tech. They can also struggle in low light conditions, so they’re not super reliable when parking in the dark.

Ultrasonic parking sensors use sound waves to detect objects around your car – fancy right? The beeping sound will get faster and faster the closer to an object you get, with an eventual continuous beep when you cannot go back any further. They’re cheap too and can be fitted to your car for around £30. Whilst this may be the option for parking sensor you want to get, it is worth mentioning that they do not pick up every object. The sound waves mean it may not detect smaller objects such as posts and curbs. You should still make sure to check your mirrors and use your own judgement when trying to park.

Electromagnetic parking sensors create an electromagnetic field around your car and will detect a number of different hazards that enter the range of the sensors at any time. A downside of this type of parking sensor is that they will only pick up hazards whilst your car is moving. This doesn’t become the most helpful thing when you’re trying to park but stopping to check every so often.

Are they worth it?

It goes without saying, that if you’ve got a sensor on your car that will detect an object in your way – it’s going to make life a lot easier and safer for you and those around you. But is it possible that we can start to rely on this technology too much? We can all park fine (I mean you need to be able to, to pass your test) and whilst parking sensors can be a big help and that extra bit of security, you can get into the habit of using these and not your mirrors as we were taught. If you do decide to get parking sensors, make sure these don’t become a habit to use as you may struggle when you hop into a car without them.

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By Marmalade Author

Providing tips and advice for young drivers on all aspects of driving - from getting through the driving test to buying and running your first car.

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