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  • DIY Proximity Detector for Cars

  • Created: Oct 04, 2016

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Summary

Sometimes, parking your car properly is difficult especially when you’re a newbie. The difficulty just builds up when you find the area of parking narrow or there are other cars parked around closely and there’s no one to assist you. Nowadays, new cars are built with sensors that aid you in parking and alert you if you’re too close to other cars or obstacles. But if you own older models that don’t come with built in sensors, you can buy ready-to-use sensor products or build your own device.


This project is a proximity detector used in cars to assist its driver in parking or alert them when he is too close to an object. The design is mainly comprised of a microcontroller, 7-segment display, buzzer, LED indicators and a proximity sensor. The proximity sensor used in the design is VCNL4100, a high sensitivity long distance infrared proximity and ambient light sensor with I2C interface. This sensor can sense up to a distance of 1 meter. It features immunity to red glow (940nm IRED), intelligent background light cancellation, and smart persistence to reduce response time. The device can be powered through a 3.3V. The sensor is 8x3x1.8mm in size and is convenient to be installed at the rear bumper of the car for its small construction. The sensor is connected the Atmega328P microcontroller through the I2C bus. When the sensor detects an object, whether a car or other obstacles, the distance measurement will be displayed through a three digit 7-segment display. Also LED indicators are also included in the design for additional display effects. These LEDs are arranged to function as a level display. When the sensor detects an object at a safe distance from your car (0.5m - 1m), the green LEDs light up. When the distance reduces to less than 0.5m, the amber LEDs light up and as you get closer to the object the red LEDs will light up. A buzzer is also connected to the microcontroller to give alert beeps to the driver.


The design can become more reliable by adding more sensors. Doing this widens the range that the device could sense. The sensor provides excellent temperature compensation for keeping the output stable under changing temperature.

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