From hardware to software

Over the weekend I flee to northern German regions that are guaranteed to be free of carnival. A blogger meeting is on the agenda; we are working to get the story in the famous dry wipes with our 2016 Project Saab. I also meet nice Saab people, and hopefully we'll read each other again by Tuesday at the latest.

Phoenix Photo Event. Trollhattan 2011
Phoenix Photo Event. Trollhattan 2011

Before the Saab 9-5 launches north, a few weekend thoughts follow. Today reports the Hamburg business magazine Balance about the digital future of Audi. The press release came in advance by email yesterday. Food for thought - the industry is experiencing violent digital change. It opens up new business areas. Or, to put it better, it has to look for new income opportunities.

“As BILANZ learned from corporate circles, the share of sales that Audi generates with information technology, software and services related to driving will be around by 2020 make up half of total sales ... ”

And it transforms at a breathtaking pace. 2020 is not far away. A hardware-based company becomes a service provider and software vendor.

“In the future, Audi also wants to market software on the Internet. For example, customers could regularly download new surface designs for the speedometer, tachometer and other displays from the Audi server. ”

I did not have the end of the day before a few days ago analog well-being zone and about the possibility to purchase “analog cockpit feeling” as an option? Things happen faster than you might think.

Saab Iqon. 500 parameter, open to developers.
Saab Iqon. 500 parameter, open to developers.

You can't help but think of a company in Trollhättan. The plans a new start and wants to start with 2018 new models in 4. Sweden is confirmed as a market, the “rest” of Europe should follow. It is unclear under which brand name the vehicles are sold. On the other hand, one thing is clear: the story of digitization is on your screen from the start. Maybe good because you can start without legacy.

Like, for example, your own sales network. In addition to digitalization, new forms of drive, sales are also facing change. Volvo, the other Swedish brand, will in future also be able to order every model online, as will other brands. The more equipment details will be “unlocked” by software in the future, and that will be so, the more sensible this model is. The digitalization of the auto industry - it is both an opportunity and a threat.

“In the run-up to the strategy process, Stadler's team analyzed in detail the decline of companies like Kodak, Nokia and Sony. The automotive industry is under threat from outside companies like Apple and Google. ”

The view back: Bloggers back mirror
The view back: Bloggers back mirror

Audi is committed to a closed system in the coming challenges, wants to remain the interface to the customer. The Saab Automobile AB was open to applications from any page with the Android based Iqon system. Developers were allowed access to the roughly 500 parameters that IQon could have delivered from the vehicle.

Isolation or openness? What's the future like? That’s open. But the car becomes a means to an end - to be able to sell services and software in its environment. Just like the good old notebook, the price of which is subsidized. From software companies. So that you can deliver your products in the basic installation. Regardless of whether this is useful for the customer - or not.

Equipment details “on demand”, apps, downloads, updates. The future is digital for Ingolstadt and Trollhättan. If that's all too much for you, you should buy one of these wonderful, old, analog Saabs. As long as you get hardware that is not guaranteed to be internet compatible, but still on fair terms. And then, maintain, drive, drive, drive.

13 thoughts on "From hardware to software"

  • The battery raw materials are only so rare for quasi-monopoly reasons and the rare earth elements are only called that because the discovery first took place through very rare minerals - at that time there were no mass spectrometers. But after all I've seen so far, a battery-based electric drive in a vehicle only makes sense in the rarest of cases, more precisely: exactly and only when emissions are to be prevented locally. Apart from the low energy density of current batteries, the various conversion losses until the energy that is generated in the power plant back on the road makes absolutely no sense in environmental terms. And the argument with solar or wind energy doesn't help if you include the energy required for production, operation and disposal.

  • Thanks Tom !! I will do that. Nice rest Sunday, Wolfgang
    @ Hans S .: Drive with my wife also 4 analogs :-)

  • There is a Bluetooth solution from Saab. Article 32025900 and cable kit 32025900. Works from 2006. Please with the Saab partner, the next would be Saab center Bamberg, availability and applicability clarify!

  • Hello everybody, I am currently doing something different:
    With my 9-5Aero station wagon (2006) I'm looking for the possibility to make the infotainment system blue-tooth-capable, so that I can somehow disconnect from my CD-6 drive. For example, music via iPhone. etc. The actual functions should be preserved. Although I rarely use the old navigation DVD, but sometimes that is still good, if you want to drive around. (New Navi on window glass available.)

    My car radio dealer in Bayreuth wants to have at least 2000, - €, then the big original display would be replaced with. Is too expensive for me at 255tkm, even if he drives ingeniously.

    Does anyone know another solution? Information like

  • Have 4 of these analog thing called Saab and do exactly what Tom suggests, maintain and drive! And I will nurse and drive her for a long time. Such a digital box from Audiland never gets into the garage!

  • Just this lunchtime there was something going on in the ARD buffet that will revolutionize the automotive industry. A car that “hangs on” to other cars travels in a convoy, drives independently through intersections (without traffic lights and roundabouts). One person “drives” the car, the wheels turn when parking so that the car parks across and possibly stands up so that the space does not become larger than what a bicycle takes for itself…. That's the future! Is being developed by the DFKI in Bremen….

  • With all the e-enthusiasm: Has the service life of the batteries been taken into account - and above all, how much the replacement will cost? After 8-10 years, unsaleable e-cars are standing around because the first / second buyer is avoiding the investment of approx. 18.000 euros (price for the smart replacement batteries)?
    Great future! I've ridden BYD taxis in China several times. The low noise level and the quick start from a standstill was impressive, but charging it after 300 km is annoying. I also like to do without the ever larger touch displays, it is not for nothing that the industry is developing surfaces with different roughness so that the “buttons” can also be operated blindly. Who wants this in the car? The same stupidity with the electric hand brakes, which only allow "digital" braking. So no more controlled spin reversal in an emergency ... I stick with my 96 and 9-5 with pleasure.

  • Good morning.

    Very interesting article.

    But I have the feeling that I am (at least “mentally”) “too old” for this whole current software-GUI-Toucscreen-WLAN-SocialMedia mania in the car and the “autonomous driving”.

    “You can't even change the speedometer design on your car” was one of the main arguments of a friend against my 2011 Saab.
    I did not quite understand that at the time and today I do not do it anyway (a dashboard is not an iPad).

    I still prefer to have a relatively classic and “restrained” cockpit in my car - and I hope so for a long time!
    At the weekend I will at least be able to enjoy it longer on the way to the coast and back…. 😉

  • Thanks for this “outlook”, Tom.
    Exciting for sure, if you want to surround yourself with excitement ... I will continue to be relatively analogue and also maintain my SAAB. 🙂
    As exciting as I find electric vehicles, the more I ask myself, where do the raw materials for the planned div. Millions (!!!) of vehicles and their batteries come from ??? The rare earths are already in short supply ...
    Nevertheless, all bloggers a happy weekend!

  • Already cool and exciting for the coming years. But maybe a bit annoying? I do not think that the burner is an obsolete model, but that in Europe plug-in hybrids will prevail or at least have a large share. Neutral through the city or environmental zones. In any case, the EV comes very strong latest from 18 and if NEVS with SAAB would be there, then that would be strong.

  • Tesla has been around for a long time: download updates, improve battery software with a click of the mouse, more power, autopilot (I mean completely autonomous driving, not just automatic distance control). So there is the present. For the other automakers, the future.
    Quote from VW boss Müller: “We cannot leave the future of the automobile to Silicon Valley”
    Has happened already!
    Combustion engines are a discontinued model. Steering wheels in 10 years too.
    I drive an electric UP! The second car SAAB 9-3 Biopower, will also be replaced in 2 years. I hope NEVS builds a great car by that time, otherwise I will switch to Tesla after 28 years SAAB.

  • Cockpit as a paid download? Will that work? Are these things that I can expect for my car in the future? Or would I rather continue the 9K? Questions about questions, and a great, informative article on the future. This week the mix was extremely awesome

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