How do wireless parking sensors work?

Wireless parking sensors help drivers avoid colliding into objects whilst parking their vehicles. These sensors detect how far an obstacle is to the vehicle and warn the driver as he gets closer to the object.


Wireless parking systems can come with four to eight sensors. In four-sensor systems, all sensors are installed at the rear of the vehicle. In six-sensor systems, two sensors are installed at the front and four at the rear. In eight-sensor systems, the sensors are evenly divided between the front and rear bumpers of the vehicle. The front sensors engage when the driver starts the car and the rear sensors activate when the driver goes in reverse.

Control Unit

The control unit of the wireless parking system sends out ultrasonic radio waves from the sensors attached to the vehicle. The computer in the control unit measures the distance between the vehicle and the obstacle by measuring the time it takes the radio waves to bounce from the obstacle back to the vehicle.

Warning System

Wireless parking systems will warn the driver as he or she approaches the obstacle through audible, visual or both means. Some systems will display the distance when the obstacle is within four feet from the front of the vehicle or six feet from the rear. Some systems will start to emit a warning beep when the vehicle's front or rear is under two feet from the obstacle. When the vehicle is within a foot of the other object, some systems send out a continuous tone to alert the driver and some models will display the word "Stop."

Keep in Mind

Different models may have different measurements when they start giving audible or visual alerts. Always consult your manual for your specific wireless parking sensors' specs.

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About the Author

Jorina Fontelera has been writing about business since 2003, covering the printing and manufacturing sectors, as well as the global accounting and financial industries. She has contributed to "USA Today," "Milwaukee Business Journal" and several trade publications, also writing about parenting, animals, food and entertainment. Fontelera holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Marquette University.