Infrared Optical Sensors for Vehicle Detection

November 1, 2017

This article explains when to use a long range optical sensor for vehicle detection.  Keep reading to learn about the benefits and typical applications of optical sensors for vehicle detection. 

QS30ExRx-Carwash-Car-Sensing

When to Use Optical Sensors for Vehicle Detection

Compared to other technologies, optical sensors are not used as frequently for vehicle detection, but they can be a good option for some applications.  An opposed mode optical sensor uses the interruption of a light beam between an emitter and a receiver to detect objects.  For example, the presence of a vehicle passing between the emitter and the receiver breaks the beam of light. This technology can be used to detect whether a vehicle has completely exited a car wash.

Advantages of Optical Sensors for Vehicle Detection

Optical sensors offer reliable long-range sensing for indoor vehicle detection applications.  Some optical sensors, like the QS30 photoelectric sensor from Banner, utilize infrared light, which can burn through mist and steam, making them a reliable choice for environments with high water temperatures, such as car wash bays.

Important Considerations

An opposed mode optical sensor requires mounting for both an emitter and receiver unit. Furthermore, optical sensors are often more affected by weather conditions compared to other technologies, so they are usually better suited for indoor applications. Many photoelectric sensors can be blinded by sunlight, so for any outdoor applications, look for a sensor with sunlight immunity. 

In addition, for applications where the sensor will be exposed to high pressure, high temperature water, look for a sensor with IP69K rating housing.

Typical Applications of Optical Sensors for Vehicle Detection

Car Wash – High pressure water, variations in temperature, mist and steam, and the constant cycling of machine movement can make vehicle detection challenging.  A rugged optical sensor with IP69K-rated housing—as well as infrared light to burn through mist and steam—can reliably detect vehicles in this environment.  

Overheight Protection – Often tolling applications require a sensor to detect whether a vehicle is too tall. A rugged optical sensor with sunlight immunity can provide reliable detection in extreme conditions and look through mist or fog

For More Information

image for expert insights

Subscribe for Email Updates

Get More Insights

Featured Products

QS30 Series High-Performance Long-Range Sensor
QS30 Series High-Performance Long-Range Sensor

High power sensing with ranges up to 200 m, e/m relay output models available.

Read More