Distance-Measuring Parking Lights

Distance-Measuring Parking Lights

      Drivers risk backing into garage and shopping-mall walls when the wall is painted a solid color, and in diffuse lighting.  The wall can look featureless and the same at any distance, until hearing that expensive CRUNCH!

     This system shows the driver the distance to the wall, with modified backup lights as projectors, so the images slide over each other as the vehicle approaches the wall.  There are no moving parts, and the cost is minimal.  


The driver’s view:


      The distance scale, and the vertical line, are projected from opposite tail lights,  The overlapping image indicates the distance to the wall.       The driver sees the overlapping pattern directly on the wall when looking out the rear window.  A rear-mounted video camera photographs the bottom image for display on the video screen for the driver.



      The garage wall shown with the car at a distance of 4.5 ft.  The top area is visible to the driver out the rear window.  The lower area is visible to the backup camera.


On loading docks:


      The technique can be applied to loading docks where the projectors are stationary and the images are projected on the back of the trucks.  The scale can indicated the distance from the truck to the loading dock, rather than from the projectors.


Parking aircraft:


      The system is particularly useful when parking airplanes because the nose of the plane is not visible to the pilot.  The scale indicates the distance from the wall to the tip of the plane nose, rather than from the projectors.


After-market version:

      An license-plate frame version uses projectors at the sides, wired to the back-up lights.  

Parking-Lights-ntbk-p129-100p Parking-Lights-ntbk-p130-100p
p. 129 p. 130

Hines’ original lab notebook #1, entries for this invention.


      This is not a product for sale to end users.  This distance-measuring technique is the subject of U.S. Patent 7,375,621.  HinesLab seeks a licensee.  Car companies and manufacturers of after-market auto parts, please contact Steve Hines.



ph. 818-507-5812