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Are Sensors Necessary With A Camera?


nellsey
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 I am finding it difficult to justify the extra on a Plus version on a new Mk 4.

I have a Tomtom sat nav which does all I need really so all I am really wondering whether the sensors are going to be a worthwhile investment.

I have only had rear sensors in the past and wonder how good the camera is?

Does the camera erradicate the need for parking sensors?

 

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I have a Gen4 Prius Excel. It's got both sensors & camera as standard. Personally I like the idea of having both. I used to cope quite okay just having a camera on my last Gen3 Prius TSpirit, but I've found the combination of sensors plus camera really good especially as it's a bit of a restricted view out of the rear window. I still use side mirrors when reversing but you literally can, with all the kit I've got on this car, reverse the car safely into a space without even looking backwards, though I still tend to do so! The Excel has sensors all around the perimeter of the car, which I find fantastic when I park my car in our garage that's just about big enough to take the car!!

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The camera is a great feature of my Auris Estate. The sensors would be better if they weren't quite so long range and worried about even quite far-off hazards! (The sat nav isn't as usable as Google Maps on my phone, and isn't a feature that factored in my valuation when I bought the car as used.) 

 

You should be able to get sensors fitted later if you feel you want them. Either by your Toyota dealer (get a quote!) or an aftermarket specialist. Right now the forum is sticking an ad (for me, maybe different for others) in the middle of this thread for sensors fitted "from £134.99" - the company advertising is roadradio dot com. 

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In my previous gen3 prius and the current plugin, I have only the reversing camera (no sensors) and the mirrors of course.  I am happy without the sensors but I have had a lot of practice reversing.  One thing that is useful are guidelines on the reversing camera.  The plugin doesn't have them so I have had to add my own.

My wife on the other hand prefers sensors to a camera. 

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I find have both sensors and a camera invaluable particularly in areas with very limited space having had just the camera on my mk 2 prius I find it so much safer having sensors too on the Auris, I also think having sat nav built into the car and part of the car is much better than one just stuck on the dash or windscreen even though it does have the occasional shortcoming but updates are avaliable, would never have a car without built in sat nav my last 4 toyotas having one but that's just me personally 

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My previous 2 cars both had sensors, but no cameras. Got so used to the sensors that when I bought my current car - c/w camera but not sensors - I quickly had Mr.T. fit some sensors. I personally find the camera pretty hopeless and never rely on it, for instance this morning, as I tried to reverse out of my drive, the lens was covered in droplets which distorted the image considerably.

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I had rear sensors fitted to all my own (not company) Prius, until the Excel which of course has them as standard.  On my Gen 3, I had me dealer fit the Toyota aftermarket ones to both ends.  Sure, they're not necessary, but they certainly make life easier and one error of judgement could easily cost more than the sensors.

I particularly like the Excel sensors because, being integrated, they have a number of extra advantages, like:

  • front ones only work when D or B selected - on the Gen 3 they were active all the time, unless a manual override switch on the dash was used
  • both ends, and the ones on the sides, are linked to a display on the dash that shows graphically which part of the car is close to something and how close
  • the rear side sensors are excellent at detecting "cross traffic" when reversing, including pedestrians and cyclists, before I can see them as I back out of my drive

Having had these things, they do become harder to live without, but many of us older members managed with some very basic equipment early in our driving careers!

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12 hours ago, PeteB said:

both ends, and the ones on the sides, are linked to a display on the dash that shows graphically which part of the car is close to something and how close

I must admit, this is particularly useful.  I did notice it when I test drove the gen4 prius.  A loan land cruiser also had it.

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I've had cars with sensors, and with cameras, and with both.  Sensors are more useful since they inform you when you're going to hit something.  Camera more useful for not running over the neighbour's cat, and good for reversing up to a painted line behind you, like in the supremarket etc.  If I had to choose it'd be sensors, but having both is handy.

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1 minute ago, alan333 said:

...Sensors are more useful since they inform you when you're going to hit something...

not if it's a narrow post - my ex had rear sensors on her Aygo, and backed into a small metal post that was too narrow for the sensors to detect, but sturdy enough to need a £400 new rear bumper! :sad:

(Mind you, not sure if she'd have seen it on a camera either!)

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On 12/12/2016 at 10:16 AM, johalareewi said:

In my previous gen3 prius and the current plugin, I have only the reversing camera (no sensors) and the mirrors of course.  I am happy without the sensors but I have had a lot of practice reversing.  One thing that is useful are guidelines on the reversing camera.  The plugin doesn't have them so I have had to add my own.

My wife on the other hand prefers sensors to a camera. 

You added your own guidelines, how did you do that Alan?

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I find the camera useless some times. When it's raining, the lens gets covered in dirt, dust and water, and the picture shown on the display is all blurry. I miss my sensors, the old Skoda had sensors in both ends, totally reliable, and I could navigate within centimeters, only by listening to beeps. 

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Camera is all well and good until parallel parking and you need to see whats happening in the front corners as you swing in, its here that sensors are a must imo as you can look at the screen, but then smack your wing in. This I noticed on my test drive of a gen 3 before buying, and as such was a must when purchasing.

If I could only have one I'd go for sensors over a camera all day long.

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What I'd really like is the all round, 360° 4-camera system as fitted to some Nissan Leafs and some Lexus models (and probably other cars too).  The side cameras are under the fixed portion of the door mirrors, so work even with the mirrors folded in.  You can see all four sides of the car and all four wheels, so it makes impressively precise parking against kerbs easy.

But the 360° sensors on the Gen 4 Prius do so much more than front/rear sensors on earlier models, and I'd be greedy and want those as well!  The blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alerts are a useful backup to careful observation.

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15 hours ago, estate said:

You added your own guidelines, how did you do that Alan?

Park on a flat surface and place stuff behind the car at known distances from the rear bumper.

Put the car in reverse so the camera comes up then use coloured stickers to put distance marks on the sides of the screen (on the beveled edges).

If you use luminous stickers they work at night too.

Or buy a cheap reversing camera from Amazon/Ebay/etc. that fits the Prius and swap out the Toyota one.  The cheap cameras all seem to have guidelines built in.

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1 hour ago, johalareewi said:

... The cheap cameras all seem to have guidelines built in.

I noticed the Yaris Hybrids I drove a few years ago all had static lines on the camera, so you could always buy one of those, but I doubt they're cheap!

I do like the lines on the Gen 4 that bend when you steer to show the path you will follow though (the pre-facelift Gen 3 T-Spirit had these too).

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My biggest problem is parking the IQ after using the Prius. At petrol pumps I have usually gone miles passed, as the car is half the length.

 However with parking the IQ , I have fitted a Halfords rear window screen, that mounts vertically, and when looking into this through direct vision or the mirror, when the headlights of the car behind disapear from view, you have a 1-2 feet clearance. Believe it or not, this little car also has sensors fitted (bought second hand), but they are bleeping for England when the headlights behind are still visible.

 Recommended for the nervous park-er

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11 hours ago, PeteB said:

I noticed the Yaris Hybrids I drove a few years ago all had static lines on the camera, so you could always buy one of those, but I doubt they're cheap!

I doubt that the lines originate from the camera. 

They are generally generated in software and then overlaid on the picture. Smarter software, with access to a steering angle sensor, can compute the curved lines on your Gen4. 

I doubt that changing the camera for a Yaris one would produce the guidelines on the display. 

 

I looked at the Honda Civic estate, before settling on the Auris Hybrid.

The relevance is that I discovered that some Honda software revisions would occasionally lose their lines. They reappeared after a reset of the display/audio system.

http://www.civinfo.com/forum/electronics-ice-9g/194554-disappearing-reversing-guidelines.html 

I wonder whether something similar is at play here, as I find it hard to believe that the Plugin version of the Gen3 Prius has no guidelines at all ... the more so as PeteB is reporting that an earlier version of the Gen3 actually had 'dynamic' (curve-able) lines on its display. I'd expect there are supposed to be lines, but that they aren't being shown at the moment for some mysterious reason.   

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7 minutes ago, Beekeeper D said:

I doubt that the lines originate from the camera. 

... I find it hard to believe that the Plugin version of the Gen3 Prius has no guidelines at all ... the more so as PeteB is reporting that an earlier version of the Gen3 actually had 'dynamic' (curve-able) lines on its display. I'd expect there are supposed to be lines, but that they aren't being shown at the moment for some mysterious reason.   

I'm pretty sure someone here reported the static lines in the Yaris camera were actually done in the camera, but of course, there's no guarantee that's right.

I'm also pretty sure the 'bendy' lines on the early Gen 3 Prius T-Spirit were generated by the Hard DIsk based infotainment/SatNav system.  The post facelift Gen 3 Prius had Touch & Go Plus instead, and lost the HDD for SatNav and music, camera lines (not even static ones) and also lost the SatNav in HUD display.  I suppose it's possible they were suppressed, but personally I wouldn't put money on it.

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