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Hidden sensor offers protection from parking accidents

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July 19, 2003

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Sunday July 20, 2003

The Taurus T123 is an electro-magnetic reversing sensor that operates along the full length of the bumper and alerts the driver when any object is 0.8 metres from the rear of the vehicle. Developed in Europe and now available in Australia - where more than 12,000 "at-fault" collisions from avoidable reversing incidents occurred in 2001 according to the NSW NRMA - the advantage of the electromagnetic system is that it's concealed inside the boot or behind the bumper, unlike externally-mounted ultra-sonic systems.

Using a continuous metallic strip is fitted inside the bumper (including the curved ends), the T123 overcomes potential gaps in the coverage found in ultra-sonic systems as well as preserving the aesthetics of the vehicle and eliminating the need to drill holes in the bumper during installation.

The universal system uses a varying beep-beep proximity tone to alert the driver when a collision may be imminent. Three different tones are sounded depending how close an object is - at 0.8m to 0.5m a the sound is "be, be, be", at 0.5 to 0.25 metres it's a faster "be, be" and at 0.25-0 metres a constant "beeee-" is emitted.

High kerbs, poles, tree stumps, rocks and other objects not visible to the driver are picked up by the T123 system. This includes objects in the "blind spot" of the driver that are detected by the side electro-magnetic field.

The system utilises the vehicle's reversing lamp power source and consists of a small control unit (mounted either inside the boot or behind the bumper) that's wired to the bumper-mounted antenna strip and a 20mm speaker inside the vehicle.

It can be fitted to any vehicle with either plastic or metal bumpers (12volt) according to the manufacturer. For the latter, the bumper needs to be isolated with fibre or nylon washers or spacers.

Distributed in Australia by OYB International Pty Ltd., the Taurus T123 takes around 30 minutes to install and costs AUD$249.99. The system is available in both 12 and 24 volt, to suit both cars and heavier vehicles.

For more information visit http://www.oyb.com.au/Main.htm or phone 03 9561-4733.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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