2021 Ram ProMaster Van First FCA Product With New Digital Rearview Mirror
Which Ram, Jeep, Chrysler, Dodge, or Fiat models will get the camera-based rearview setup next?
Ram Commercial introduced its 2021 Ram ProMaster Class 2 full-size work van at the Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, Indiana. Of the new safety options available for the 2021 model year ProMaster, the class-exclusive Digital Rearview Mirror—optional on all 18 ProMaster configurations and available for the first time ever on a Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) vehicle—has us not only excited for ProMaster drivers, but also for its potential application to other brands under FCA like Ram Trucks and Jeep.
The Digital Rearview Mirror, which replaces a traditional reflective rearview mirror with a 9.2-inch wide LCD monitor, displays real-time video from a rear-facing camera. Anyone who drives a van—especially older vans without backup cameras—can imagine how cool this concept is, since traditional rearview mirrors of vans often do little for seeing what's behind the van. (More so on those cargo vans without rear glass!) Typically, you can see the van's interior and the happy faces of passengers or cargo through a normal mirror.
Since the camera is located on the back of the van, the view is unobstructed. True, it acts kind of like a backup camera, but you don't have to be in reverse to active the view and it's a higher resolution camera. Some may find driving with the Digital Rearview Mirror activated distracting and almost nauseating, while others absolutely love it. It might be something that just takes getting used to. Luckily, for those who don't want the rearview mirror activated, there's an easy solution—when turned off, it acts as a traditional reflective mirror, with all the downsides those entail.
As noted, the Digital Rearview Mirror makes its class-exclusive debut in the 2021 Ram ProMaster. While Ram may be first to bring this feature to the full-size van segment, other manufacturers have utilized similar setups on vehicles in other segments. For example, Nissan has the Intelligent Rear View Mirror on its 2020 Nissan Armada. GM has its Second-Gen Rear Camera Mirror system on its 2019+ Silverado 1500/Sierra 1500 and 2020+ Silverado HD/Sierra HD trucks. Range Rover has the ClearSight Rear View Mirror on its 2020 Range Rover Evoque. Oh, and the 2020 Mercedes-Benz Vito (think Metris in the United States market) will also have a new optional rearview camera mirror.
Given the popularity of these camera systems, it only makes sense that FCA's Digital Rearview Mirror technology will not be limited to a sole debut on the ProMaster, but may be applied to other Ram Commercial vehicles or Ram's 1500, 2500, and 3500 trucks, let alone products from other FCA brands—perhaps Jeep, Ram Trucks, or Dodge.