Saab has built a new car communications platform around the Android operating system, offering upgrading and personalisation to your vehicle through the downloading of apps. Saab IQon is an infotainment concept running on Google's OS, and the car manufacturer will support it with its own application store.
Having been tested in a beta fleet, the system will be shown to the public for the very first time at Geneva Motor Show 2011 from 3 March in Switzerland. It has been utilised inside the company's Phoenix concept car which will be on display.
IQon connects to the Internet the moment that the car's ignition has been switched on, and remains so for the entire journey. It can then download apps and information as you drive, offering possibilities such as regularly updated maps and traffic information for GPS and such like. And because it is part of Saab's "open innovation" strategy, the manufacturer offers the global developer community access to the full bandwidth of car communications - infotainment, telematics, systems monitoring and diagnostics - allowing third-party programmers to style applications, utilities and software to suit.
Saab will, off course, approve all apps before they will be unleashed on its own marketplace.
Each car fitted with IQon will feature an 8-inch colour touchscreen, which can be used to navigate through the Android-based platform and access in-car services, such as media streaming and online navigation.
“With Saab IQon, there are no limits to the potential for innovation,” says Johan Formgren, Head of Saab Aftersales and commercial project leader for IQon. “We will be inviting the global Android developer community to use their imagination and ingenuity."
The system can even report back to a Saab dealership with any issues or for firmware upgrades, without you having to visit.
But remember, clunk click every trip, stay safe, and don't Angry Birds and drive!