I've always thought it would be nice to have a car with a parking sensor. I don't want to spend that kind of money until I pay off my student loans. However I do have the materials to make one myself thanks to a class I took on microcontrollers. Part of my motivation is that my car doesn't make parking particularly easy. The back end is tall and it doesn't extend out very far so I'm usually too far or too close.

This project will show you how to build your own parking obstacle sensor for your car.

This obstacle sensor shows the distance in inches, cm, or mm depending on the "units" variable you can change in the code. It also displays between 0 to 16 bars in the bottom indicating 0 to 255 inches. The sonar module can only detect between 6 and 255 inches. Any less than 6 will show as 6 and any more than 255 will display as 255.

<p>I've considered this idea before because I'm blind in eye and lack the depth perception that other people have but the thing that concerns me here is making something that that is rugged enough to handle rain, snow storms and salt - that thing called weather.<br>I would love to see articles on how this sensor could be protected in the real world.<br><br>Second comment, a smaller system is definitely possible, an Arduino UNO, Adafruit's Boarduino or anything similar will talk to an ultrasonic distance sensor easily. Ultimately, it could be reduced to a microprocessor chip, capacitors and a crystal. Of course, that's beyond the scope of this, you made simple for anyone to do.</p>
<p>Very nice Instructable, but I also have concerns about how weatherproof this would be (I'm in Canada where right now the snow is melting and the back of my car is covered in slush).</p><p>One thought is to build it with an infrared obstacle sensor instead of an ultrasonic one, it should be a lot easier to make that weatherproof. Of course it would still have to be cleaned periodically. Perhaps it could be mounted in a taillight, infrared light should have no problem passing through the typical red lens on those.</p><p>Great work, and certainly food for thought!</p>
<p>This is awesome! Especially for all of us who don't have back-up cameras!! Thanks for sharing. Can't wait to see what you create next!!</p>

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