As we reported earlier, Saab is working on a new telematics and infotainment system for its future cars called Saab IQon. The new system, previewed this week in Saab’s striking PhoeniX concept, is essentially a new car communications platform based on Google’s Android operating system, and it’s destined to turn your next Saab car into one big smartphone.
By switching on the ignition, owners will automatically connect their cars to the Internet. An 8-inch color touchscreen provides access to services, including audio and entertainment streaming, online navigation and on-board music storage. It will also allow users to download a wide range of applications, online services and multi-media functions provided through a Saab IQon store.
Saab will issue third-party developers with a vehicle application programming interface (API) providing access to more than 500 signals from different sensors in the vehicle. These measure, for example, vehicle speed, location and direction of travel, driver workload, yaw rate, steering wheel angle, engine speed and torque, inside and outside temperature, barometric pressure and the sun’s position.
2011 Saab PhoeniX Concept
Saab is unique in that it is using an ‘open innovation’ strategy, where the global developer community is able to create and submit their own applications for IQon. However, to ensure high driving safety and quality standards are maintained, all programs will be evaluated and approved by Saab before they are made available to customers through the online Saab IQon store.
IQon will also provide a platform for remote communication to and from the car with Saab dealerships, for example, using telemetry to upload vehicle data, carry out diagnostics, or even install some in-car options post sale.
The new system is still in development but is already being trialed by private fleets. The first production example is likely to debut in the next-generation Saab 9-3, which you can read about and see spy shots of in our previous post.