A car with a Sixth Sense! In automotive parlance, it has got a worthy meaning? The all-sophisticated automation and electronics & sensors combination virtually make you a hi-fi driver. But how it matters when you enter a parking slot full of bumps and ramps? You are in the driver seat and can manage the front façade view but what about the rear escapades. That’s where Park Pilot Assist System comes into play. Working on ‘echo sounder’ and operated by ultrasonic sensors, Park Pilot Assist System has a compact design and is composed of Main Harness, Power/Mute Harness, Alarm, Hazard Mute Module, Hardware Package, ECU Control Module, Rear base Kit and Basic sensor parts. The sensors are triggered to emit an ultrasonic signal with a frequency of 40 kHz and the sensor then snaps to reception to pick up the sound waves echoed off the object. In between emitting the signal and receiving the reflection, the system calculates the distance between the sensor and the obstacle.
How does it work?
Park Pilot System is in active mode when the vehicle is in reverse gear or below a speed of 15 kmh. There are three zones duly measured from rear bumper within which the sensor could detect and prompt you to action.
1) 5 ft to 3 ft zone (here you hear slow beeping)
2) 3 ft to 1.5 ft zone (here you have fast beeping) and
3) 1.5 ft to 0 ft zone (here you hear continuous beeping). You are provided with an Operation Manual to educate you about this system. The Park Pilot Assist System is designed to systematically assist you in safe parking by alerting you to the rear ruckus. It gives you two quick beeps as soon as the system is in reverse or below 15 kmh. Any object that stays or moves in and out of these three zones in a range of up to 150 centimeters behind (sometimes more depending on the model) are detected and the control unit calculates the distance between the vehicle and the obstacle based on the information using triangulation method. What you can see and see through and what you cannot see and manage will be detected via Park Pilot Assist system. This system is a booster to driver confidence as well as a boon to safety buffs.
Advantages of the Park Pilot
Video system operates by way of optical signals and will give you a virtual video scene of the rear scenario while audio system alerts you acoustically to the difficult-to-see spots, angular spaces, walls, hurdles, tiny object, low curbs, bumps, ramps, ground hiatus, enabling you to maneuver into the parking slot safely. While ultrasonic sensors can see through any objects, nothing can detect the presence and locations of the control unit on the vehicle. It is camouflaged in the colour of the body colour and it presents a perfect fusion with the body.
When to use and when not to use the Park Pilot?
Sometimes, when you are familiar with a parking slot, you may want to deactivate the control unit. You can just opt for the cancel option but know the basics that you have to not prior-engage the hazard switch if you want to go on cancel mode. Once cancelled, you have to put it back in reverse to activate again.
Epilogue:- The basics and common sense of a driver vis-à-vis the magic sensors can create a safe/reliable system on any parking slot. Your bumper is safe; the car exterior doesn’t get flaked. It’s up to you how your system works. You should also make sure that the sensors are preserved clean and clear.
Integrated Park pilot systems are already available in premium cars of India. However, nowadays , one can also install a stand alone park pilot assist sensor that is available at a price of 3000- 4000 rupees in any of the automotive servicing shops.Many high end buses and trucks are also equipped with these systems. Volvo buses running for the BMTC and KSRTC also are equipped with Park assist systems with integrated video feed from behind.