I have to admit, when I got the original press release on this, I was skeptical. “A tech-based bumper protector”? Hoo boy. But the video reveals that it’s not such a bad idea. There’s a Kickstarter project going now to fund the invention.
It is true that if you live in the city and own a car, you have no choice but to drive around with a scuffed up bumper, because everybody parks by feel. They back up, hit your bumper, move forward and hit the other guy’s bumper, then go into some artisanal, gluten free bakery to enjoy a cupcake.
The solutions up to this point has been the Bumper Bully, essentially a mudflap you roll out of your trunk. They look dumb, and they require that you roll it back into the trunk when you’re done parking, otherwise you look like you’ve just walked out of the men’s room with a big piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
The Bumper Bot is an aftermarket version of the parking sensors that most new cars have, though instead of displaying an image on a screen in your car, they flash LEDs from your car to alert the hipster attempting to park his 1977 AMC Hornet.
The LEDs are on strips that mount either along the A-pillar or under a rear spoiler, and the sensors mount on the license plate brackets. There’s an audible alert in case the offending parker isn’t watching his mirrors.
It’s a pretty slick solution that might save you a few bucks at the body shop.
The Kickstarter is a few grand away from being fully funded. If you’re interested in watching the video, visit Bumper Bot’s page.