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Discussion Starter #1
Ram brand director Bob Hegbloom told the industry press at a recent RAM event to stay tuned because the Ram brand, especially on the commercial side, is painfully aware that more technology, capability and options are what Ram customers are looking for.

What do you guys expect/want/need in the way of tech and capability...

Hegbloom also said the ProMaster will debut at the beginning of October...
 

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This is an interesting question. Technological gains are coming so fast these days, that by the time a product moves through an automotive manufacturing production schedule, it's already pretty dated. And expensive !

I just got a Galaxy 4S smart phone and it's a pretty powerful tool. It can already do just about whatever an in-dash unit can do. And it will probably be replaced by even a smarter unit in a year or so.

I'm thinking if there was a docking station for the phone, interfaced with button controls on the steering wheel, I could live without the in-dash unit all together.

It would cheaper, better tech, and easier upgrading for the life of the vehicle.
No point paying for duplicate capabilities and hardware.

This would be a major shift in thinking for both manufacturer and consumer.
Probably scare the old folk, but young people would adapt to it instantly.

It will happen sooner or later anyway.
 

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I'm fine with things just the way they are. Maybe I'm old school.

But things like fuel economy, power, and cargo space are things I look at. I don't really use the built in navigation or fancy features

The only feature I welcome is backup cameras. Does make life easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This is an interesting question. Technological gains are coming so fast these days, that by the time a product moves through an automotive manufacturing production schedule, it's already pretty dated. And expensive !

I just got a Galaxy 4S smart phone and it's a pretty powerful tool. It can already do just about whatever an in-dash unit can do. And it will probably be replaced by even a smarter unit in a year or so.

I'm thinking if there was a docking station for the phone, interfaced with button controls on the steering wheel, I could live without the in-dash unit all together.

It would cheaper, better tech, and easier upgrading for the life of the vehicle.
No point paying for duplicate capabilities and hardware.

This would be a major shift in thinking for both manufacturer and consumer.
Probably scare the old folk, but young people would adapt to it instantly.

It will happen sooner or later anyway.
Thats an intriguing suggestion Dennis. I have to assume you run some business functions from your S4?

I can get on board with something like this, it could turn the promaster into a mobile office. The only issue i could see is keeping up with OS updates from multiple manufacturers. Also an issue would arise for folks with older smart phones, how far back will the promaster support...
 

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An on board navigation system would be awesome. Almost every car should have them these days. I'd be happy with a really nice smartphone set-up too, as long as I could control it without getting distracted from the road.

Really the Promaster doesn't need that many extra luxury features. It is not a luxury vehicle. It would be nice to have just enough to keep it comfortable and to keep it up with certain features that are starting to become standard on other vehicles. like adaptive cruise control.
 

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Ram brand director Bob Hegbloom told the industry press at a recent RAM event to stay tuned because the Ram brand, especially on the commercial side, is painfully aware that more technology, capability and options are what Ram customers are looking for.

What do you guys expect/want/need in the way of tech and capability...
In the area of wanting more capability, I'd like a major manufacturer, including RAM, to design an industry-first even larger commerical van.

I'd like to have an option to buy a "supersized" van approximately 90 inches wide. Six to seven feet of interior height as at present is fine, and total length up to 24 ft like longest Sprinter is fine too, but width limited to around 80 inches like vans of the last 50 years now seems inadequate for some uses. Vans have grown taller and longer, but not much in width. Granted ProMaster is a little wider, but not enough for many applications. A much larger version of a FWD ProMaster would be ideal for me, but I could settle for a RWD van too.
 

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I'm fine with things just the way they are. Maybe I'm old school.

But things like fuel economy, power, and cargo space are things I look at. I don't really use the built in navigation or fancy features

The only feature I welcome is backup cameras. Does make life easier.
Are you familiar with the ScanGauge II or other similar units? It monitors all sorts on engine data and has a trip computer with mpg functions. Nice unit. It plugs into the OBDII connector

All vehicles built after '96 have an OBDII connector which mechanics hook up to for diagnostic trouble shooting and emission control purposes. It would be very cheap and easy to display all that data on either an in-dash unit or a smart phone interface.

Dealerships probably won't like it. It might cut in to their repair shop profits. Good for consumers and fleet operators though.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
An on board navigation system would be awesome. Almost every car should have them these days. I'd be happy with a really nice smartphone set-up too, as long as I could control it without getting distracted from the road.

Really the Promaster doesn't need that many extra luxury features. It is not a luxury vehicle. It would be nice to have just enough to keep it comfortable and to keep it up with certain features that are starting to become standard on other vehicles. like adaptive cruise control.
no such thing as controlling a smart phone without being distracted from the road. Changing the radio station is distracting from the road. Anything that takes your 200% attention away from the road is distracting. Period.

we're not looking for luxury features, were looking for convenience. Most of us are business owners looking at the Promaster to replace our aging Econolines or Express'. As a business owner being able to run some of my phone apps on the Promaster in dash would be a wonderful addition. Certain things I have to leave until i get back to the shop, this way I can deal with business and work at the same time.

adaptive cruise control just makes you a lazy driver. And im not going to trust adaptive cruise control when im loaded up to the teeth with cargo/materials in the back. Also with adaptive cruise control your jsut asking for at least $5K premium and a whole glut of sensors wiring and computers to break... No thank you.

Keep it cheep, keep it reliable.
 

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Are you familiar with the ScanGauge II or other similar units? It monitors all sorts on engine data and has a trip computer with mpg functions. Nice unit. It plugs into the OBDII connector

All vehicles built after '96 have an OBDII connector which mechanics hook up to for diagnostic trouble shooting and emission control purposes. It would be very cheap and easy to display all that data on either an in-dash unit or a smart phone interface.

Dealerships probably won't like it. It might cut in to their repair shop profits. Good for consumers and fleet operators though.
of course I have

I have an OBD2 bluetooth reader that hooks up to my Android phone. Nifty stuff. :cool:
 
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