Blind spot protection can alleviate the sweaty palms you get merging lanes, especially if you aren’t comfortable with the sight lines of your vehicle. A large SUV or pickup truck might not allow you the confidence to merge easily. However, with the advent of blind spot protection, your car can electronically check your blind spots for you. This instills confidence even in novice drivers. Of course, we can’t fully rely on electronics: Blind spot monitoring is no substitute for always checking your mirrors. But it is one more layer of added protection that can help save your vehicle, others’ vehicles, your insurance rates and, most importantly, lives!
Old School to New School
Most aftermarket blind spot protection systems are from manufacturers who are well-versed in OEM integration — in other words, getting electronics to work properly in older vehicles. Some of these electronic blind spot protection systems come from Tier One automotive suppliers, so they work just like an original equipment solution. One company that is experienced in both aftermarket and OEM equipment but new to blind spot protection is Pioneer Electronics. They launched a lineup of three aftermarket solutions for the U.S. market that will cover most legacy vehicles on the road today.
Watch Your Six!
According to Pioneer, while underway the Pioneer Blind Spot Detection System can detect vehicles to the rear and in the lanes to the left and right. The system signals the driver with a flashing light indicating the direction of the detected vehicle (left or right). If the driver has engaged the turn signal in the corresponding direction, the system will also produce an audible buzzer warning. All three systems can also detect cross traffic approaching from the left or right entering the vehicle’s blind spot zone while slowly backing out of a parking spot or driveway, activating both the corresponding left or right flashing light and audible buzzer warning.
Ted Cardenas, vice president of marketing for Pioneer Electronics and a longtime advocate of well-integrated aftermarket equipment, says,“Pioneer’s Blind Spot Detection System portfolio reinforces our commitment to developing products that allow consumers to update almost any vehicle on the road today with newer technology and features. Blind spot detection assists drivers so they can practice more attentive driving habits, whether they are changing lanes or reversing their vehicle.”
Different Choices for Different Applications
The three systems use microwave radar sensor technology for object detection and GPS to determine the current speed of the vehicle. They also include left and right LED indicator lights, an audible buzzer speaker and all necessary cables to complete the install. Also included are sensor calibration templates for your installation technician.
The top-of-the-line model is the SDA-BS900 (suggested price: $900), which mounts the sensors within the vehicle’s bumper. This leads to an ultra-clean installation coupled to an extended blind spot coverage range of up to 82 feet with the ability to detect vehicles that are approaching from behind and vehicles that are adjacent to you being passed. On the interior of the vehicle, the left and right LED indicator lights are designed to be surface mounted and include both silver and black covers.
Sometimes the bumpers of a vehicle are metal and cannot support an inside-the-bumper solution. Instead, Pioneer offers both the SDA-BS100 and the SDA-BS1 (suggested price: $500). The SDA-BS100 and SDA-BS1 are unique, placing the microwave radar array in an Ingress Protection-rated bar designed to be installed on the vehicle’s center-mounted rear license plate. This design simplifies installation, eliminating the need to remove any exterior body panels or bumper covers. It also expands vehicle compatibility to include vehicles with either plastic or metal bumpers and the flexibility to be mounted to the top or bottom of the license plate.
The SDA-BS100 and SDA-BS1 provide blind spot detection of vehicles approaching from behind with a coverage range of up to 50 feet. The left and right LED indicator lights are designed to be surface mounted in the vehicle interior. The SDA-BS100 includes both silver and black LED indicator light covers, while the SDA-BS1 includes only black.
Although Pioneer recently introduced its Blind Spot Protection Systems, solutions are available from other manufacturers that may integrate better with your vehicle. A VZAN retailer can help determine which system is best for you. Most importantly, you CAN have blind spot protection on your older vehicle to bolster confidence, prevent accidents and protect your precious human cargo.