Rear Parking Assist

Feature Highlight: Rear Parking Assist

In Car News, Safety, Technology by Blaine Traber

How bad would you feel if you were backing your vehicle up and hit a child? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) over 6,000 people are injured by vehicles when they are backing up and of these more than 2,400 are children. As a response to this and to increase the safety of vehicles Rear Parking Assist was developed. In addition to the injuring of people, which is by far the more serious of the issues, many vehicles were being damaged while backing up because drivers were unable to see or unaware of hazards that were behind them.

Two types of systems are available for Rear Parking Assistance one that is very basic and make a loud noise whenever the vehicle is approaching an object. This is determined by the use of ultrasonic technology that determines when the vehicle is getting dangerously close to an object. The second and lately more popular system is a rearview camera system that actually offers a video of the area that cannot otherwise be viewed. This second system is becoming more of standard fare in vehicles that are built today and planned to be built in the near future.

The audible system that uses ultrasonic technology simply mimics the use of SONAR. The system bounces a high-frequency sound wave off the object and when the sound wave returns the system measures the distance to the object from the rear bumper. If the object is within a dangerous range, based on the speed of approach and distance, the alarm sounds and informs the driver. Some of the systems are equipped with LEDs in the dashboard to alert the driver as well as using the audible tones.

The rearview camera based system is much simpler to explain. The camera is usually integrated into the rear bumper, lift gate, trunk hatch or rear center point of the roof to allow the driver to see what is in the camera view behind them. Usually these cameras offer a wide-angle view to give the best visibility of the rear area behind the vehicle and when the display is given often markings are imprinted on the video to allow the driver an idea of distance and speed based on these guide lines.

Both of these systems have proved to be very effective at reducing the number of accidents that have occurred with rear parking, parallel parking, or simply backing up. This helps to keep the cost of insurance and obviously injuries down which is really the main object of having a rear parking assist system on a vehicle. Unfortunately, during some conditions the camera system can become unreliable if the lens fogs up, or an object is in the way, preventing the use of the system. For this reason it is a good idea to continue to practice proper driving techniques and not fully rely on the automated systems that could at an unforeseen time fail.

Even with this warning, these systems are a major advance in safety of vehicles on the road and offer a great deal of confidence to anyone driving when they have to back out of their driveway or park their vehicle. Because many vehicles today are already equipped with these systems most of the time you don’t have to ask a dealership for them, but it’s a good idea to check and make sure the vehicle you wish to purchase is equipped with one of the tow Rear Parking Assist Systems to ensure your vehicle offers the most safety features you can afford to put on it. Your choice to add a rearview camera could mean avoiding an injury for a small child running after a ball.