Saab Goes Android for their IQon In-Car Infotainment System


Time and time again we have seen car audio manufacturers attempt to shoehorn Android onto in-dash entertainment consoles with typically bland results. It is a concept we have praised and see as having high potential for Android in the future, but no one has quite got it right just yet. Enter Saab and their newly introduced IQon in-car Infotainment system using Android. Via an 8-inch touchscreen, a driver or passenger can browse media and music stored on the device or streaming from the web, but open APIs allow developers to create apps that do even more.

With those APIs, the system can access the cars array of sensors transmitting over 500 different signals relating to the car. These include current speed, location, direction of travel, torque, inside and outside temperature, and more. The platform even allows for direct communication with your Saab dealership for off-site vehicle diagnostics, scheduling maintenance, and performing the installation of software-based car upgrades.

The IQon system won’t be available on the street immediately. It is currently being tested in Saab’s fleet of company cars. Consumers can get a first hand look at the IQon in the new Saab PhoeniX concept being shown off at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.

[via SaabsUnited]

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  1. Looks pretty slick! I really wish someone would make aftermarket units with Android. The current good systems out there cost well over $1,000, have a terrible interface and are not at all customizable.

    1. Thanks, nabu!

  2. The Future is Open!

    I hope Nissan Leaf and the Tesla S have Android too! Or maybe Saab will come out with an all electric vehicle running Android! I dig that Saab is going to have an open api to access the vehicles sensors, a lot of cool apps will come out of that, apps we have never thought of before!

  3. this is how android will rule the world: build it in every car.

  4. I’d love to retrofit this into my 9-5!! Come on, Saab, give us faithful a refit kit to replace our stock radio!

  5. does any vehicle really need this much technology, its just supposed to get us from here to there. its not like you are going to live in the freaking thing.
    its cool though. just saying.

  6. I thought it was VLC when I saw the pylon on the screen.

  7. This would be a great traveling car… i wonder if i can get an android based system installed in my current car

  8. It’s a shame that they’re putting them in Saabs. The stereo will be 25x more exciting than the car it’s put in :-/

  9. Sorry! The application Brake (process com.iqon.brake) has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again.

  10. Maybe it’s just me (and I do love technology), but isn’t this just a tad TOO MUCH

  11. Wups! Submitted accidentally by some strange key-stroke. Let’s try again….

    Maybe it’s just me (and I do love technology, Android), but isn’t this just a tad TOO MUCH technology within reach for a person “in control” of a machine capable of causing death and destruction, if that person isn’t fully aware of what they are operating? This is getting ridiculous. I’m in my 50’s. Kids, put down your games! When driving a car, it’s time to be responsible and not fiddle with with the gadgets. Maybe in an airplane, where the pilot has time to take their eyes off the sky, but in a vehicle, all it takes is a second or two of distraction, and it’s all over. I certainly hope built-in speed restrictions are in place with Saab’s iQon, and I hope they have good lawyers!

  12. Interesting that Sweden also came out with the first Android TV last year (April 5, 2010). Now a car, but the Chinese already beat that record by having a production car on the street with Android built-in. Looks like SAAB’s implementation is more elegant. Both info are on this site (scroll to middle section):

  13. The car isn’t DRIVEN by this system, it’s just for the in-car entertainment.

  14. And also: If something is available in the car, it doesn’t mean it has to be used while driving. And if it has speed restrictions, how can a passenger use it? It’s meant for everyone’s entertainment and comfort.

  15. I agree with TAB. I recently drove a Toyota with a touch screen radio. The problem with any touch screen device is you have to concentrate on the screen to operate it as there are no tactile buttons for you to feel and operate. Either your fingers move away from where you want to touch or you start wondering out of lane as i found myself doing in this toyota.
    I love the idea of all the toys availble in the car, the saab looks sweet but it will cause accidents. Im sticking to my single slot cd player and my phone being turned off.

  16. The Parrot System seems hot and it works in all cars. I just now hope they come out with a Double-DIN 8-inch screen unit.

  17. @ Sean.

    It’s good to talk without base huh? Saab is a great brand and I think that one of the strong assets is how “exciting” the car is. just go to Youtube and search the Saab driving performance team, or just the saab commercial. Can’t really say that a car that is Born from jets is not exciting at all. I know I will be getting one of those and love every little exciting detail about it!…

  18. Anyone familiar with devices such as the MyTouch 4g would know that you can do most things via voice command. In fact, if properly designed for voice command, most operations that used to require removing ones eyes from the road will no longer require that to make adjustments to things such as temperature and venting. In that way, this technology could actually make the car safer to operate than with conventional “tactile” knobs or sliders.

  19. I want that clock widget for my phone & tablet!

    And a +1000 to jp’s request for a retrofit for our existing SAABs. My 9-3 Aero is screaming out for an Android powered nav radio!

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