Product review: Parking sensors by Veba
We got a Veba parking sensor kit installed by our product partners Yellow Hat on our 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. This generation of the midsize Jeep did not get factory-installed reverse sensors until 2004, but this Jeep has decent enough all-round visibility to not really need extra help. But we got the provided system installed anyway, and wanted to highlight the dangers of high 4×4 vehicles on city streets.
The above setup, organised by Kids & Cars in the United States, highlights the length of blind spots behind various types of vehicles. The car, a Lexus IS 300, has the best rearward visibility, while the Toyota Prado, without a rear-mounted spare tyre, has a longer invisible area than the car. The longest blind spot is behind the Ford Explorer Sport Trac.
This photo shows the number of small children who are completely invisible from the driver’s seat of a Chevy Suburban. There have been countless cases of parents running over their own kids due to inattention while reversing.
The Veba system offered by Yellow Hat is a set of four sensors for the rear only. The unique bit is that the visual display also tells you the numerical distance from the obstacle, as well as colourful separate indicator lights for each reverse sensor. The total cost comes to under Dhs 900 with installation.
Installation was handled by Yellow Hat technicians, who go the extra mile to ensure that the sensor holes are perfectly spaced and drilled. Getting the system installed by Yellow Hat adds an extra year to the existing one-year warranty.
All the wiring is routed through existing gaps within the car body. In the case of our Jeep, the rear bumper did not need to be removed. In contrast, crappy roadside stores in Deira and Sharjah sometimes simply route the wires through the car’s cabin, trying to hide them under the floor mats.
The LCD display was stuck onto the rear-view mirror, which isn’t my ideal location for that add-on pod in terms of aesthetics, but it does the job.
Do note that the sensors are black in colour and are not installed flush with the body, so you might not like its looks on lighter-coloured cars. They stick out of the rear bumper, and might come out if shaken hard in a car wash. We plan to put on a bit of glue to make them stay in better.
As for usage, it makes parallel parking much easier, as the distance from the obstacle is shown between 1.5 metres and 0.4 metres. Below 0.4 metres, it just shows 0.0, and the beeping sound changes to a constant ping. But we have yet to come across any factory-installed system that indicates distances below 0.5 metres. Though not the cleanest installation, the Veba system does the job just fine, with extra added value thanks to its ‘fancy’ distance monitor.