There wasn't a good alternative.
There's no question the reborn 2021 Ford Bronco has dominated the automotive news cycle since its July 13 reveal. The SUV's return has been a long time coming for its millions of fans and already Ford has been receiving more reservations than its website can handle. It's not exactly a bad problem to have. But we're also still learning about some cool details the new Bronco offers, such as how its technically complicated crawler gear works.
And now Ford Authority has uncovered another interesting detail that answers a question some haven't even thought of: where's the backup camera located? Like all new vehicles, the Bronco is federally required to come standard with a backup camera for safety reasons, but the SUV isn't like most vehicles; its doors, roof, and tailgate are removable.
And it's in the latter where designers and engineers often find a place for that camera. Clearly that wouldn't work for the Bronco so an alternative solution was found: placing the backup camera inside the spare tire hub. Does this sound familiar? It should because it's exactly what's done with the Jeep Wrangler. This method allows for a clear rear view without having to alter the tailgate design.
Could the camera have been placed under the rear bumper instead? Technically, yes, but that would put the camera in danger, so to speak, in case of a rear-end collision.
Bronco owners will also discover a full-size spare wheel cover will obscure the camera's view, as will a lot of other aftermarket accessories, such as bike racks. Of course, this won't be a significant problem in owners' eyes, but it's still something to bear in mind. Some Wrangler owners have opted to move the camera to the rear bumper, but doing so could possibly void parts of the factory warranty.
Perhaps the best solution to a blocked rear camera is the old school method: side and rearview mirrors.