Saab IQon car infotainment

  • Groundbreaking automotive communication platform based on the Android operating system
  • Flexible upgrade and personalization throughout the vehicle lifecycle by downloading applications such as a smartphone
  • "Open Innovation" as a groundbreaking basic concept for working with service providers and application developers
  • Beta version of the IQon system already in practical testing

IQon is a completely new infotainment concept from Saab Automobile. With the involvement of external partners in the "open innovation" called development environment, which is based on the Google operating system Android, the company is changing the infotainment landscape within the automotive industry.

Saab IQon, based on Google's Android OS
Saab IQon, based on Google's Android OS

Saab IQon opens up a completely new kind of infotainment experience for motorists, combining the best of mobile communication with the automotive expertise and innovative spirit of Saab. The result is an infotainment system for the next generation of Saab vehicles.

The system allows the user to download a wide range of applications, online services and multimedia features from the Saab IQon Store. Saab provides external developers of such tools with an Application Programming Interface (API) that enables the use of 500 signals generated by sensors in the vehicle. These include vehicle speed, position and direction, driver load, yaw angle, steering angle, engine speed and torque, indoor and outdoor temperature, barometric information and sun position.

Saab's test fleet is already running the beta version
Saab's test fleet is already running the beta version

"With Saab IQon, the innovation potential is limitless," says Johan Formgren, head of Saab Aftersales and commercial project manager at IQon. "We will invite the global Android developer community to demonstrate their imagination and ingenuity."

Saab's co-operative development strategy called "Open Innovation" is a novelty in the automotive industry. It provides a faster, more flexible alternative to traditional in-house development of vehicle infotainment services.

"Today's customer wants to enjoy as much connectivity in their vehicle as they would otherwise," adds Formgren. "IQon provides the convenience and seamless connectivity familiar from smartphones, along with vehicle-specific programs and services."

A modem that automatically connects to the Internet when the ignition is turned on provides IQon with an integrated computing platform. An 8 touch screen provides access to a range of services, including audio and entertainment streaming, online navigation and on-board music storage.

Saab IQon: With apps in the future.
Saab IQon: With apps in the future.

With its open innovation strategy, Saab offers the global developer community access to the full range of vehicle communications: infotainment, telematics, system monitoring and diagnostics. This gives the aspect of personalization of services available in the vehicle a whole new dimension. There will also be specific and custom applications for specific countries.

"Thanks to our open innovation strategy based on the Android operating system, automotive infotainment will always be up to date," adds Formgren. "With IQon, the vehicle's infotainment services will continue to evolve throughout its lifecycle. On the other hand, the scope of current in-car systems will be set several years before the car is launched and will remain unchanged until the end. "

To ensure driving safety and quality, the programs are thoroughly examined by software developers and application providers. They must be approved by Saab before they can be offered to customers online in the Saab IQon Store.

At the same time, IQon provides a vehicle-to-dealer communication platform that can use telemetry to upload vehicle data, make diagnostics, arrange maintenance appointments, or even install in-car options.

The IQon system will be presented to the public for the first time in the Saab concept car PhoeniX at the Geneva Motor Show 2011. A beta version is currently being extensively tested in a fleet of company test vehicles.

Source / Pictures: Saab Automobile AB

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