Reversing sensors are proximity sensors used for on vehicles and are designed to warn drivers of obstacles in their way while reverse manoeuvring.
More generally, a proximity sensor is a reversing aid which detects the presence of an obstruction without touching it.
Different types of vehicles and environments, and different proximity sensors used, will require different types of reversing sensors. Generally, reversing sensors fall under two categories:
Electromagnetic reversing sensors
These reversing sensors rely on the vehicle moving slowly and smoothly towards obstructions. After the obstacle is detected, the vehicle will momentarily stop on approach.
The reversing sensors will continue to warn the driver and, if the vehicle resumes its manoeuvre, the alarm will become more and more obvious. Electromagnetic reversing sensors can be placed discretely on the inside of the bumper.
Ultrasonic reversing sensors
Ultrasonic reversing sensors are much more popular and come as standard on many newer vehicles. Reversing sensors are available as upgrade kits or as part of more advanced reversing aids.
This type of reversing sensor system uses ultrasonic proximity detectors in the front and rear bumpers in order to measure distances to nearby objects at low level.
The reversing sensors measure the time taken for each sound wave to be reflected onto the receiver.
Depending on speed and distance, and the type of system, it will warn drivers, using visually or audible means, about the risk of collision. The driver will generally indicate the direction and proximity of the obstacle.
Usually, these are fitted to the rear of a vehicle, but sometimes to the front as well. Rear reversing sensors will be activated when reverse gear is selected and deactivated in any other gear or neutral.
Reversing sensors can be activated simply by pressing a button and is automatically deactivated in order to avoid warnings in situations where manoeuvring isn’t an issue.
For more information on reversing sensors, visit the product pages.