Reversing, reversing into parking spaces, and parallel parking may not result in as many deaths and serious injuries as high-speed driving, but these slow-speed situations make up a significant proportion of all crashes. The main reason backups cause so many accidents is because cars and trucks have blind spots that make it difficult for pedestrians, cars, and other objects to see. There are several ways to help eliminate these dead spots, but backup cameras and parking sensors are two of the most common.
Blind spot mirrors can be useful for backups, but a well-placed camera can effectively eliminate blind spots. These cameras are also easier to use as the video display is often located on the dashboard. This is especially useful for people with limited mobility that make it difficult for them to physically turn around to check their blind spots.
Most blind cameras use fisheye lenses which allow them to provide a very wide angle of view of everything behind the vehicle, causing distortion type barrel lens . Fisheye lenses aren’t great for capturing distant objects, but that’s not a problem for dedicated backup cameras. Some blind spot cameras also have a built-in light or night vision, so they can be used in the dark.
Parking sensors perform the same function as backup cameras, but they do not provide any visual information. Instead, they are designed to alert the driver to the presence of obstacles in the way. If a child or animal follows the vehicle as it is moving backwards, this type of sensor can trigger an alarm that will allow the driver to stop in time.
Some parking sensors are also integrated into automated parking systems. These sensors feed data to a computer, which is then able to calculate the correct steering angles and acceleration required for parking. Parking assistance systems then tell the driver when and how much to turn, while fully automated systems can actually park the car.
Backup cameras and parking sensors are available as both original equipment and aftermarket. Original equipment backup cameras are usually integrated into infotainment systems, as most infotainment and navigation systems have built-in full color LCD displays.
Some cars are connected to backup cameras or parking sensors, although they didn’t actually come with that option. In these cases, it is usually possible to install replacement or OEM parts without much effort.