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Parking Dynamics PD1 Installation and Review

April 20, 2010

Ultrasonic Parking Sensors have been one of the best inventions to come along for your car. Even a minor fender bender can cause thousands in repairs. The only problem with these were that they can sometimes perform erratically, not to mention the unsightliness of some installations.

Luckily Parking Dynamics brings us the PD-1, a parking sensor that utilizes "electromagnetic" technology, and is the only parking sensor that installs behind the bumper. This provides several benefits over traditional ultrasonic sensors.

  1. No drilling of your bumper (or mis-drillings)
  2. No painting of sensors required
  3. Nothing to show that a parking sensor is installed
  4. Allows you to get as close as a few inches before the final stage
  5. Perfect for leased vehicles! Take it with you when you buy your new car!

 

The difficulty of your installation will mainly depend on how hard your bumper is to come off. It's not as hard as it seems... Typically, auto manufacturers anticipate these type of accidents and design their bumpers to come off quite easily. By the time I finish taping and marking the spots to drill for ultrasonic sensors, I can probably have the bumper removed on most vehicles.

The bumper came off with the removal of the tail lamps, a few tabs, screws, and a couple bolts. Nothing more than a few hand tools were required, meaning no drill or expensive drill bits are required!

 

Wash the bumper thoroughly and free it from any dirt that can prevent the antenna from adhering properly.

 

The silver strip is the PD-1 antenna. Installation was as simple as laying a sticker down.

 

This is the end that connects the the module unit. The wire enters from a rubber grommet on the drivers side to prevent shorting of the wires. The wire was a little short, so extending it was required. (I used basic speaker wire for this.)

Locate the reverse bulbs and tap the power and ground for the unit. The speaker was run into the cabin area and mounted behind the rear seat headrest.

 

TESTING

The detection range for this started rather small compared to ultra sonic sensors. The furthest detection range started within two feet, and the final stage stopped just a mere inch or two away from the object! You can tell this was made for a European market where parking space is extremely limited. According to the manufacturer, the detection range is supposed to start a little larger than this, and recommended that I add the included second antenna to the installation.

I also noticed a problem with the unit detecting a round pole type object, but picked up almost every other type of common obstacle. I will return with an update if adding the second antenna makes a difference. Not picking up a pole seems like a huge drawback, but is actually a common problem with most ultrasonic sensors as well. Some people who get ultrasonic sensors also complain that sometimes the final stage is too far away, and doesn't really help them in parking. The Pd-1 is a parking expert allowing you to judge within a few inches of an object. A rear-view camera is still probably the superior solution to the two, providing the driver with visual confirmation of their blind spot behind them. Even better is the configuration on most high end luxury vehicles, which is both camera, and sensors!