In February we found first pictures of what could be a new and modern navigation system for the 2014 9-3.
It was not until April that we found an official reference to a new infotainment system in the Chinese spec. sheet of the 9-3 2014/15.
Those two posts where more or less based on rumours with some confirmation from NEVS, but still we had no real pictures of the system and we had only some rumours about the hardware-platform it was based on, but those where not 100% right.
It was not till the presentation of the electric 9-3 that we saw the first real pictures of this infotainment system (we have talked in the past of it as a navigation system, but the it is more capable than a simple navigation system, thus I will talk about an infotainment system). The guys at Teknikens Värld took some better pictures of the interior of the 9-3 EV the same day, and have been kind enough to let us use them.
With this post I will try to summarize all the information we have, partly confirmed, about that system, and talk a little bit about why NEVS has made a right option for the future with this system.
We in a past post said
A couple of very good sources to SU states that the navigation system that NEVS is working on for the 9-3N is actually the Parrot Asteroid system, …
This is fully correct, but we at that point thought that Parrot Asteroid meant Parrot Asteroid Smart, but this is wrong. The Parrot Asteroid Smart is a after-market infotainment system from Parrot that can be mounted on almost any car with a free 2DIN bay.
As you can see, not only the user interface differs between both. The main (visual) differences are:
- Bigger screen (8″ vs. 6,2″)
- Differently looking User interfaces
- Android buttons are differently positioned
So we can say that this is not an Asteroid Smart, but it may be something similar.
Parrot, the company behind the Asteroid Smart system, and some funny civilian camera drones, does also have an in-car infotainment system hw-platform based on Android, and they are keen to sell it to as many OEM’s (car companies) as possible. One famous OEM using this platform is Volvo. It began with the “Sensus Connected Touch”, which has received some awards, and now the fancy center screen on the XC-90 and any Volvo to come will also be based on that.
Among the brands using the Parrot OEM technology (now or in future cars) you can find the BMW-Group, the Volkswagen Group, Ford, Hyunday-Kia and Mclaren.
The Saab unit is also based on the same HW-platform that other important car manufacturers will use in the near future in their cars, which means that NEVS has invested in a good quality back-end, and a back-end that will be further developed as the market needs, without having to fund that development fully.
So, what has been done by NEVS on that unit? In fact little, as the work has been done done by Swedspot. Swedspot is a company funded in the beginning of 2012 by some of the heads behind the former SAAB IQon. But on the other side a lot as they had to design the head unit, the user interface and the integration of the system into the car.
The system will be called IQon, and will have everything you can find in a modern in-car infotainment system. Well, almost, I was hopping to find a rear view camera in that system, but the 9-3N will not have a rear view camera. But currently we will have to get the dust settled, and maybe afterward when the future of NEVS looks a little bit brighter, we may be allowed to have a peak on the system.
I’ve talked with NEVS about retrofitting the system and the answer was not as expected but sincere. There are many changes in the MY14 9-3, so that such a system can’t be easily retrofitted to a 2007-2012 9-3. But anyone with lots of time and a some budged could do it, but I expect you will have to change so many parts that any other solution would be better.
Yes, I’ve written this, because I still think that SAAB, as a car brand, is not dead. I have always been a dreamer about SAAB, but maybe is only because I hate having to buy a driving appliance instead of a car.
Have a nice weekend !!