How Does a Car Backup Sensor Work?

by Matthew Munoz

Technology has gotten mankind to a point where even reversing accidents will become a thing of the past. Reverse sensors are able to warn if the driver is approaching an obstacle too closely.

What is a Sensor?

Sensors measure a physical quantity, such as distance, and convert it to an electrical signal for a receiver to interpret. In a reverse sensor, the physical quantity is the distance between the rear fender and the obstacle. This is converted to an electronic signal and sent to a receiver, which will give a warning sound or light. Other cars will actually give the physical distance. Some cars have a camera and a screen on the dashboard for viewing.

How Does It Work?

Car sensors emit radio waves. The sensor measures the time it takes for the radio wave to hit the object and return. As the sensor moves closer to the object the time is decreased. The sensor converts this to an electrical signal and sends it to the receiver, which converts it to a readout or alarm.

Price

Car sensors vary in price, due to the quality and form of the readout. A simple red light may be cheaper than a digital read out that shows distance in feet or those with a camera. As of 2010, the price range is $20 to $150.

About the Author

Matthew Munoz began writing in 2010. He writes for eHow and other online publications, specializing in fishing, cooking, mechanical HVAC engineering, automotive and marine engines. Munoz received a Bachelor of Engineering in naval architecture from SUNY Maritime College.

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