The road traffic has increased drastically over the last few years. And that has caused a massive spike in the number of automobile accidents. Many countries, like Italy, have taken special precautions to avoid these crashes. They have promoted driving assistance technology in vehicles to prevent accidents. One such device is the side detection sensor, commonly known as SDS.
This small addition to your vehicle can make driving safer. It can also increase your skill level as a driver. That is why inexperienced drivers are always integrating such systems into their cars. But what is a side detection sensor, how does it work, and how can you install it? Let’s find out the answers to all these questions!
What is Side Detection Sensor?
On the surface, the side detection sensor is a safety assistance system. However, it’s very effective because it monitors a vehicle’s blind spots. As a beginner, you might not know what blind spots are. In simple words, blind spots are areas that are invisible to the side-view mirrors due to a car’s build and body. Therefore, these areas are also invisible to the driver’s eyes. Often called no-zones, these spots are responsible for most road accidents.
A side detection system utilizes sensors to monitor these blind spots. You will get an audible or visual alert if a vehicle approaches your car via the no-zones.
Framework of Side Detection Sensor
An SDS consists of radar-based sensors to detect oncoming vehicles. The system emits millimeter waves when your car hits over 10 MPH. These waves surround your vehicle’s nearby area, monitoring any moving object that enters.
Typically, side detection systems don’t detect stationary objects, like parked cars. But they can monitor smaller vehicles, like bicycles. Most of these sensors can also trigger alerts if they notice a pedestrian.
After its detection stage, the sensors notify the alert system. It could be flashing lights, buzzers, or both. This component works as a channel between the driver and the sensors. Based on the incoming alerts, drivers can make better decisions to prevent fatal accidents.
How to Install Side Detection Sensor?
The installation method of the side detection sensor depends on its model. Modern systems are wireless, but they are not widely common. The old-fashioned wired models are still dominating the market.
Generally, a 4-sensor side detection system is the most popular. These four sensors are called:
- Forward sensor
- Forward center sensor
- Rear sensor
- Rear center sensor
Let’s see where to install these sensors:
- The forward sensor is mounted on the wheel arch section at a suitable height of 450mm from the surface.
- The rear sensor is mounted in front of the rear wheels.
- The forward center sensor is mounted on the frontal corner of the car.
- And lastly, as the name suggests, the rear center sensor is mounted between the forward and rear sensors.
4 Things to Know About Side Detection Sensor Installation
Here are a few things to know before side detection sensor’s installation:
Wiring can be the biggest challenge, especially if you are inexperienced. Many people can connect the cables, but organizing them is another problem. Otherwise, the car’s interior will look messy.
Hiding the wires underneath the seats is highly recommended. Another tip is to follow this side detection sensor wiring diagram below. It will help you understand everything about the cables.
2. External Additions
Usually, side detection systems are flexible devices. They can be integrated with other driving assistance tools. Many drivers recommend adding synthesized sirens to this system. It automatically notifies nearby cyclists and pedestrians when you turn or change lanes.
Similarly, you can combine this system with other functions. However, that would increase the side detection sensor price and installation.
3. Specific Instructions
The installation method in this guide is for universal models. It will work for most side detection systems. However, some models are designed with specific requirements. Thus, you will have to consult the manufacturer or read the product manual for their installation method.
4. Test Drives
Test drives are helpful for the drivers after installing the system. You can check whether the system is working as expected or not. Generally, experts recommend conducting test drivers in a driveway or less busy roads. It will help you get comfortable with the device and its functions. This way, you will know how to operate it on a highway, minimizing the chances of accidents.
Maintenance of Side Detection Sensor
A side detection sensor requires proper care. Otherwise, it may run into some problems. Here are some common issues in this system:
- The alarm light not turning off
- Inaccurate detection
- Continuous beeps
Let’s see the root of these problems and how to fix a faulty side detection system!
1. Effective Cleaning
The sensors are prone to catching dust or debris. The best practice is to clean your sensors now and then. It is the leading cause of inaccurate detection by the system. Cleaning the sensors will restore their precise monitoring, reducing the chances of crashes.
While at it, you should also clean the side-view mirrors. Generally, that is where your alarm system resides. Thus, any dirt or mud on the mirrors will affect the sensors. You can use a solution of water and white vinegar for effective cleaning.
2. Sensor Inspection
Since the system consists of 4 sensors, it is more prone to failure. One or two sensors might be damaged, while the others work fine. This problem can confuse the driver, as half the system will work and the other half won’t. Avoiding this problem is pretty simple; you can consult a professional to inspect your sensors. Make it a regular practice every few months to avoid larger problems. Generally, aftermarket models are repairable due to the availability of spare parts.
However, factory-installed systems will require you to contact the specific manufacturer. For instance, a side detection sensor Toyota can only be inspected and repaired by a Toyota mechanic.
3. Use an OBD2 Scanner
One way to identify potential errors is using an OBD2 scanner. It has a dedicated port under the steering wheel. You can insert the scanner and turn it on.
It will detect and show you the error codes, if any, so that you can identify the problem. Usually, new drivers will find it challenging to understand the error codes. Hence, contacting a local dealer or mechanic would be a better approach.
4. Software Errors
Every side detection sensor system works using pre-installed software. It smoothens the communications between multiple sensors. As a result, you get alerts without any inconvenience.
However, software problems can occur within these systems, even though they are uncommon. In that case, go through the product’s manual. There could be a way to upgrade or fix the software. Otherwise, you can contact the manufacturer for further assistance.
5. Water Damage
Lastly, due to their electrical components, water damage is also possible in side detection sensors. This problem generally occurs after driving in rain, snow, or extreme weather conditions. Unfortunately, there is no solution against water damage. You can only take the system for professional repair.
What you can do is choose a waterproof system. Many manufacturers, like OYI Electronic, have radar-based side detection sensors with an IP57 waterproof grade. This way, you can drive in any weather condition and still expect precise results from the system!
How Can Side Detection Sensor Help in Driving?
A side detection sensor is a helpful addition to professional and personal driving. Here’s why:
This system understands the dangers of blind spots. Thus, it monitors them continuously to prevent devastating accidents. It enables you to stay updated on your danger zones and make decisions accordingly.
Protect Others as Well
Usually, road accidents affect several parties. A side detection system cares for you and other people. It lets you escape situations that would otherwise have fatal consequences. This way, you, cyclists, pedestrians, and other drivers remain safe.
Ease of Use
The side detection system doesn’t require much driver interference. It activates automatically when your vehicle reaches 10 MPH. Moreover, it detects your surroundings using its sensors. Since you only need to worry about the alerts, this system seamlessly integrates into your everyday driving.
Considering the huge traffic, a new driver can get stressed on a busy highway. As a result, they can make wrong decisions, leading to impactful scenarios. Thus, this system takes care of a car’s most dangerous spots. So the driver can focus on other aspects of driving and remain stress-free.
Using a side detection sensor is now more recommended than ever. The number of fatal accidents is increasing every year. And that creates panic in the drivers’ minds subconsciously. You can tackle this problem by adopting safe driving practices on your end. Along with following the traffic rules, you can use a safety assistive technology. It will help you with your professional and personal driving.
SDS systems have applications in many vehicles, including trucks, buses, cars, SUVs, etc. Thus, you can install one in your vehicle today. All you need is to contact a reliable manufacturer, like OYI Electronic. They can assist with the installation process and make your driving ten times safer.