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Car ultrasonic sensors have been used for the past three or four decades to ensure accurate vehicle functioning. For example, it is used by cars to check for parking spots and detect blind spots. In the age of autonomous vehicles and automotive IoT, vehicles highly rely on ultrasonic sensor data to measure various aspects that range from safe driving to finding parking spots without hassle. 

As per sources, the global market for ultrasonic sensors is estimated to reach 14.24 billion from 5.76 billion by 2027, which throws light on the role sensors play in determining road safety.

This article discusses what ultrasonic sensors are and how ultrasonic sensors work.

What is an ultrasonic sensor in cars?

An ultrasonic sensor in a car replicates the echolocation process used by bats. It works by sending out high-frequency sound waves to calculate the distance between the objects in close range and the vehicle. The sensors consist of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) that guide drivers while parking and detecting spots.

What are the characteristics of ultrasonic sensors?

The sensors comprise two main elements: a receiver and a transmitter. Herein, the transmitter uses piezoelectric crystals to generate sound travelling to the target that is then received by the receiver. It assists the user in determining the distance between the target and the sensor.

Ultrasonic sensors are divided into three different sensor variants based on their compatibility. These are:

  • Covering a detection range of 15 cm to 2.5 meters to detect objects around 6 cm
  • Covering object presence of around 6 cm in a detection range of 15cm to 4.5m
  • Covering objects present in a range of 3cm within a detection range of 15cm to 5.5m

Some of the characteristics of ultrasonic sensors include:

  • They are inexpensive
  • They are small and unobtrusive
  • They can measure distances across smoke, dust, and humidity
  • They do not have any lenses to clean

What is Car Ultrasonic Sensor Data?

Car ultrasonic sensor data is the information received on transmitting high-frequency sound waves to calculate the distance between the object and the car. They are widely used in situations with low visibility of objects, especially during erratic weather and while driving through areas with low visibility.

How Does Ultrasonic Sensor Data Work?

Ultrasonic sensors comprise two essential components – transmitters and receivers. They primarily work by sending out sound waves above the range of human hearing. Herein, the transducer acts as a microphone that receives and sends ultrasonic sound waves. Simply put, the transducer sends out a single pulse to receive its echo to determine the distance between the target and your car accurately.

The ultrasonic sensor data is then used to determine the surrounding vehicles, check open parking spaces, and communicate warnings.

Autonomous Vehicles It helps to detect the conditions surrounding the vehicle accurately
Urban Parking Solutions It enables to detect the spots open for parking
V2X Vehicles It allows sensing the vehicle’s location with respect to the pedestrians and devices thereby communicating the warnings appropriately

 

1.  Autonomous Vehicles

  • Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) largely depend on several ultrasonic sensors. The sensors inside the car detect conditions within the vicinity. 
  • The AV technology utilizes extensive data from connected vehicles to generate AV algorithms.
  • The ultrasonic vehicle data from a wide number of vehicles provides benchmarking for various other conditions such as locations, scenarios, and hazard and weather data.

 

2. Urban Parking Solutions

It includes utilizing the aggregate data gathered by the parking apps through ultrasonic sensors in cars. Herein, the sensors are connected to the vehicles, eliminating the need for expensive infrastructure.

It works in the following manner:

  • Vehicle sensors identify the parking spots in the vicinity
  • They use the aggregate data collected from the parking spot to understand the availability of the parking area
  • They guide the drivers to locate the nearest parking space available

3. V2X Vehicles

  • V2X vehicles use ultrasonic sensor data to sense and communicate any road hazard warnings with the driver
  • They use the ultrasonic sensor in the car to analyze if any vehicle or pedestrian is too close, mainly due to low visibility.
  • The data is used to gain insight into improving road safety and the V2X technology.

Conclusion

Sensors play an integral role in modern automobiles that makes cars safer and hassle-free to drive. Like proximity sensor ultrasonics provide additional features allowing the complete controllability to process data and intelligently observe by checking different parameters such as speed, temperature, pressure, gesture recognition, etc.

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