9-3N Navigation System (First official Information?) (UPDATE!!)

What about some good rumours to start the week?

We at SaabsUnited have already made two posts about the “In-car entertainment system” of the face lifted 9-3. The first was about the rumours that pointed to the Parrot Asteroid as being the chosen system, and the second was about the interior pictures of the Chinese version of www.saabcars.com showing a big display instead of the “old” GM Radio.

Today, after checking www.saabcars.com in the three languages available, I felt like having good news and not so good news (for most of you) to tell you.

I will begin with the not so good news. As expected China is the second country where NEVS is asking people for their interest on the car, very much what they did in Sweden a couple of months ago, but this time they are not trying to sell the car online. There is still hope that after the presentation of the facelift (Beijing Autoshow April 20th maybe) we will slowly learn about other countries where that car will be offered, but we have to wait till then.

The good news, or interesting news, is derived from the former.

NEVS has now published a Chinese car spec sheet, and although I hope that all mighty Google knows Chinese better than me, there are some bits and pieces that make sense after translation.

This is an extract of the spec sheet

音响与通讯
萨博IQon信息娱乐系统;基于安卓的信息娱乐系统,带8英寸显示 屏,导航,免提电话,蓝牙音频播放,WIFI,双USB接口和语音控制 功能。

I think most of you have already noticed something without translation. Until we don’t have a confirmation we will treat it as a rumour, but it seems like all the talks about that Parrot unit was a little bit of smoke to tarn what I think is a big sensation to see the IQon system on the 9-3N.

The full translation reads.

Sound and Communications
Saab IQon infotainment system; Android-based infotainment system with 8-inch display, navigation, hands-free phone, Bluetooth audio playback, WIFI, dual USB interface and voice control.

I finished my last post about this with the sentence.

Now, let us hope that the guys at NEVS make a good integration of the system in the car so it feels like an OEM system rather than a aftermarket car stereo.

Well, I think if that text of the spec sheet is right, and NEVS is not trying to foolish its Chinese customers, which I highly doubt, NEVS has managed to get the best integration it can get, as there is no aftermarket system with IQon currently on the market.

Back to the specs. I’m missing a rear-view camera, but I know how complicated/expensive is to add a single cable to the wiring harness of a car, so maybe we see this in the future, but if not, I really understand why.

We will try to get a confirmation from NEVS, but I think till the 20th of April NEVS will keep their mouths shut.

UPDATE!!!!
Sorry guys, I’ve a little bit too impulsive when writing this post. Although I’ve heard from too many sources that NEVS would be at the Beijing Auto Show, I’ve finally found a floor plan of the show and I’m missing NEVS on that plan.

UPDATE 2 !!!

I have some update from NEVS directly.

This unit is a already developed Hardware with a standardized SW platform, as the time frame was too short to develop something completely new.

NEVS has worked with Swedspot to develop this head-unit. Swedspot is a spin-off of the former Saab Automobile, and most of the developers of the IQon system are now part of that company.

Acording to NEVS this IQon is not the same as in the Demo at Geneva 2011, but a new development, and their plan is to build all their future infotainment units based on this platform.

So all in all this might not be the full IQon system as firstly designed, as there was more to IQon than a GUI design. But the creators of the IQon system were involved in this development, making me think that the infotainment system of the 9-3N will feel right in a Saab and not like a after-market head unit.

Angelo V.
Member
2 years 5 months ago

So are they definitely appearing at the Beijing auto show this month? Is there a way to at least verify that for crying out loud? I mean, do we consider it normal business practice that a company won’t answer a yes or no question “Will you have an exhibit at such and such a car show?”

Patrik H
Member
2 years 5 months ago

Exactly, Angelo. Like, what are they afraid of?

Regardless, IQon would be great! Modern, competitive, premium automobiles must have modern, competitive, premium infotainment systems. I personally think that they’re a bit overwrought, but whatever.

April 20 is the two-year anniversary of the purchase of my current Saab, so that’s fun.

Angelo V.
Member
2 years 5 months ago

I like classic cars and owning old cars (I have one car that’s 35 years old and one that’s 21 years old along with three newer ones.). My concern with these info screens is that “support ends” at some point in time—-there’s a need for software updates that end up being unavailable, etc. Is that a legitimate concern? Or do we know that in the future, these screens will be supported and can be updated—-and won’t end up being junk in an otherwise beautiful old car.

saabyurk
Member
2 years 5 months ago

I share that concern, although I’m so old I shouldn’t care. And what about engine management systems and the electronics themselves when they go bad? Will there no longer be a classic/vintage car restoration hobby – a thing of the past? Good old steel is easy to repair or reproduce, but this stuff?

A Williams
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Nil point from me!
Android is the fragmented platform favoured by hackers and found in cheap smartphones.
The only premium offering out there is Apple’s CarPlay and with Saab’s heritage of design iOS implementation would be a natural premium fit.

OddJob
Member
2 years 5 months ago

This sounds as a great relief, having a true Saab innovation for the Infotainment. I was very disappointed when I heard about the Parrot system, no matter how good it may be. iQon Up!

phermansson
Member
2 years 5 months ago

Actually its not the iQon which used its own hardware, my best sources tell me that its more like an iQon skin to the parrot system which many auto suppliers do. Saab used to do this with the Denso system which you could find in a Corvette, Mercedes and many other upper class brands. People think that its Saab’s own but its not, same thing with this system, its a parrot base with a Saab skin. Same procedure as all car manufacturers have always done! =)

Mailr
Member
2 years 5 months ago

As the Parrot is Android based (just as IQon), and that requires that the OS is provided in source, it will be much easier to add extras and make modifications than for old school systems. If you add a CAN interface and some drivers to the Parrot it’s likely that some of the IQon stuff will be easy to port over (while others will still be hard). My guess is that the reason that the Chinese 9-3 spec photo included the Parrot is that some EV status monitoring and maybe even configuration will be done through the Parrot.

saabboy1
Member
2 years 5 months ago

Tim, did I read this correctly, “the face-lift 9-3 will be presented on April 20th? If thats true we are talking about next week. Are there going to be any photos prior to launch?

phermansson
Member
2 years 5 months ago

No it will not be launched next week…

Patrik H
Member
2 years 5 months ago

Tim, do you know when exactly? Vague, varied dates have been thrown around in the past but nothing too concrete. I am anxious to see it.

phermansson
Member
2 years 5 months ago

No I dont, but I have heard that it should be launched in conjunction with the electric car, and that car and as it looks now its launch is delayed. NEVS are building some prototypes but nothing worth showing yet…

I’ve heard through some sources that it might appear sometime after summer so should be in august-october…

Regardless I doubt that we’ll see anything leaked before that, NEVS is keeping things tighter than Saab ever was able to…

Patrik H
Member
2 years 5 months ago

We wait with bated breath! It will be great to see the first ‘new’ Saab design since the PhoeniX.

Romain Sandt
Member
2 years 5 months ago

I found a video from SAAB on youtube presenting IQon on the NG 9-5 and 9-4X.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BOd9oX1p4s

LarsG
Member
2 years 5 months ago

A rear-view camera is not a problem to install but you need a video interface to your screen. You can find it here: http://www.navtool.com/saab_9-3.aspx
Be careful to NOT use a wireless camera. I have tried both and dispite it´s more work to install a wire it works much better.

xlx
Member
2 years 5 months ago

Nice rumour. If it’s true, the next step is a proper implementation – what the system allows you to do and what not. Certified apps and all that…

Niels-Søren Bøgh
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

I hope they come with an update for pre 9-3N cars, it will be nice…

And if the price is right, there must be a big update marked!

A Williams
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Nil point from me!
Android is the fragmented platform favoured by hackers and found in cheap smartphones.
The only premium offering out there is Apple’s CarPlay and with Saab’s heritage of design iOS implementation would be a natural premium fit.

maanders
Member
2 years 5 months ago

There are pluses and minuses to both the iOS and Android platforms. Each have their own benefits…and issues.

Niels-Søren Bøgh
Guest
2 years 5 months ago

Otter units uses Windows CE – it is real slow compaired to Android. I will be happy to get this system…

roger
Member
2 years 5 months ago

->A Williams. Is that the reason why all iPhone users jailbreak their phones? Are all hackers or are they criminals that need to break out of the jail that is their phone… 😉
Why is it so that all iPhone users see red when someone else prefer a system from a competitor?

The use of Android in a cars is smart. It’s free. It evolves fast and it have a huge advantage compared to iOS in the HMI part.

Peter Gilbert
Member
2 years 5 months ago

I specialize in IT Security and firmware is a general issue, not a Saab specific but as we debate we are forced to change our passwords from the Heartlblead situation and for those just hearing about this. This also affects Android.

http://news.en.softonic.com/heartbleed-openssl-security-bug?utm_source=all_win&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EN

hilmar
Member
2 years 5 months ago

And what about data security, the viewable motorist ? Turning the ignition key Google et al. are watching you … 😉

Philip Wolstencroft
Member
2 years 5 months ago

Great news if it is in the planning. The IQon system would certainly be amongst some of the best systems available!

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