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Front camera vs front parking sensors: Which provides better protection

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by artsci, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    #1 artsci, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
    Now that I have the front/rear camera switch permanently installed, as well as a new installation of Tesla's parking sensor system, I thought I'd do some tests comparing the protection provided by each. I'm mainly concerned about protecting the lower extremities of the front and rear fascias. I've spent mucho dinaro having them covered in carbon fiber and any damage would be very costly.

    Over the next few days I'll be posting a series of photos and videos demonstrating the protection of each and the margin of error.

    This first test is protection from striking a curb with the front diffuser lip. The photos below show the parking system graphics, the front camera image, and a photo of the actual parking position in relation to the curb.

    If you were totally relying on the parking sensors or camera to judge a safe parking distance from the curb, which would you most trust?

    Front bumper Protection

    The parking sensor reading/image

    DSC_5092.JPG

    The front camera image on the touch screen

    DSC_5094.JPG

    A photo of the actual parking position relative to the curb. That's about a 6" gap.

    DSC_5098.jpg
     
  2. JerryNycom

    JerryNycom Member

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    Glad I didn't pull the trigger and get the parking sensors installed! Now Rick send me my camera kit! :tongue:
     
  3. swegman

    swegman Member

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    You are 6 inches from the object, yet the Tesla parking sensors say you are 18 Inches away. I wonder what the parking sensors are "focusing" on.
     
  4. MajesticSound

    MajesticSound Up is LOUDER

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    We need a side shoot to tell if the curb would go under the front lip. If not all the way maybe 10" so that with the 6" he's away and the sensors would only be 2" off which would be acceptable.
     
  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #5 ecarfan, Jun 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2014
    I thought it was well established that the Tesla parking sensors do not detect objects as low as curbs and parking space stops. That is what I have observed with my car which has that option.

    I don't believe that Tesla claims they do detect low objects. But I certainly do like the front camera idea.
     
  6. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Let me promise you -- the curb would not go under the front lip and would do major damage to the diffuser front if I relied on the sensors. Remember, they're on the nose cone and fascia sides (four in all on the front). The nose cone sensors are 18" from the ground, the fascia ones 20", so it's clear the sensor are "seeing" over the curb to an obstacle further away, likely the grass or sidewalk.

    The camera on the other hand is 14" from the ground and every possible obstacle is in view on the touch screen So it's almost impossible to make a mistake if you're paying attention. The image shows that the curb is being nearly touched when it's 6" away -- and that's kind of the error we want.

    The seniors on the other hand underestimate the distance of obstacles, or if they're low, like this curb, seem to miss them altogether. That's been my experience with the front sensors since I had the sensors installed. The rear sensors, on the other hand, seems to be spot on.
     
  7. SteveW25561

    SteveW25561 Member

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    Did you get the parking sensors retrofitted? If so, would you mind sharing how much it cost (did you buy new bumpers or did Tesla drill for you) and how you did it?

    What you're illustrating is a key difference in the design and purpose of each system. The camera (including the rear camera) is great when you can see but if they are dirty from rain, road dirt, or it's too dark, the camera utility is reduced. I've personally found the rear view camera a challenge in lower light, low contrast situations like a grey concrete wall in a parking garage. The width of the Model S also has the far edges/corners of the car cut off of the camera's field of view. I don't have artsci's front view implementation but a different front view camera and have found it's more prone to dirt and rain than the rear view (I live in rainy Vancouver, though).

    Parking sensors as you've shown are really meant for obstacles that are around bumper height (eg other cars, walls, etc) and they will never see low curbs, and likely will miss posts and skinny objects. That said they are very sensitive for their purpose and very helpful for avoiding objects at the edges of the car, oblique angles that you might not see well with the camera or mirror, and their audible alert makes them more convenient than looking down at a camera image. They are also functional when dirty (unless really covered by thick snow like seen in Bjorn's videos) and are not affected by lighting situations.

    I see these tools as complementary to each other. I'm still pursuing a parking sensor retrofit on my car, even though have a form of front view camera already (not as slick as artsci's implementation).
     
  8. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    I've coated the front and rear camera lenses with GTechniq G1, so water and dirt are much less a problem. But there are times when the rear sensors have saved me -- the audible warning is the trick.

    I guest the best of both worlds is the parking sensors and the front and rear camera.

    PM me about the parking sensor installation.
     
  9. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    Do you have a video of the operation?

    O
     
  10. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Not yet but will within 24 hours. Just have to shoot it.
     
  11. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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  12. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    #12 artsci, Jun 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Here's the demo video.

     
  13. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    Perfect - and the bonus shot of your coat hook. :)
     
  14. rekoh

    rekoh Member

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    what is the orange button? next to your vent/touchscreen???
     
  15. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    It's a Tetrax magnet to hold my phone.
     
  16. lousecco

    lousecco New Member

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    How do I order the kit? Please! My name is Lou and I can be reached at 951-492-1094. I live in Southern Ca. Thank you.
     
  17. Reekdog

    Reekdog Member

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    The cameras are awesome and it's eerie just how quiet your interior is.
     

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