Little Saabs for Garmin Satnav

This is cool!

If you use a Garmin portable SatNav device then you might want to consider these downloadable Saabs that you can install on your Garmin unit, and then display as you drive!

From the designer, Thilo:

Hello Steven,

I don’t know if many of the community use handhold aftermarket-GPS units from Garmin, I use a Garmin Nüvi 760 in both the 9000 Aero and the 96V4.

Those who use them may probably be not satisfied with the default cars or those they can download at the Garmin garage. I was not and began to create some of my own cars.

I’d like to share two cars, which should work with the most Garmin Nüvi units (I tested them on the nüvi 760 and 200 unit). The Aero-X is bigger but changes a bit in size when it turns (because of the size limitations of the units)

Here are some screenshots and the cars (*.srf) which should be placed in the \Garmin\Vehicle directory in the gps-unit. Enjoy!

Best regards

You can download both of the images in a zip file here (right click, Save As) and then upload them onto your Garmin nav unit.


Video: Saab 9-5 Infotainment System

I got one of the product specialists, Mikael Jakobsson, to walk me through all the electronic goodies available on the new Saab 9-5.

I drove a fully equipped V6 car on Tuesday and the integration of the electronics was a real feature, especially as I was driving by myself in a foreign country and was quite reliant on the information provided to me via the car. It all worked seamlessly, as advertised, and became one of the real unexpected highlights of the car for me.


The menu systems are grouped in a smart way – can you call it ergonomics when it involves menu systems? I learned to use most of this stuff whilst driving, such is the intuitive nature of the systems.

Other items that we didn’t cover in the video are the Head-Up Display and some of the systems that run through the dashboard’s display.

For example, the speed sign recognition system, which reads speed-zone signs as you drive along and then displays the appropriate speed limit on the central dashboard display (it works brilliantly and is a bigger than expected help).

Then there’s the Head-Up Display, which shows important information projected on to the windscreen. It’s a great way to monitor your speed, but the biggest benefit I received from the HUD was the ability to see SatNav instructions right there in front of me whilst I was driving. Outstanding!

Autoblog were a little critical of the HUD because you can see subtle reflections of the actual HUD projector around the HUD information you see on the windscreen. I can see where they’re coming from, but it wasn’t prominent and the benefits provided by the HUD system far outweigh the fact that you notice something on the periphery of your view. To their credit, Saab have said they’re taking notice and will work to refine the system as time progresses.

My thanks to Mikael, who I’ll hopefully meet again when it comes time to review the Saab 9-4x as he’s the product manager for that vehicle 🙂

Do you have an iPhone and would you want a Saab app?

This is just a quick straw poll.
I’m not considering trying to develop an app, just in case you’re wondering.
I saw this story over the weekend of a roadside assistance app that MINI have developed for US owners to download onto their iPhone or Blackberry.

MINI owners can now access roadside assistance with the touch of an icon
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – August 20, 2008… MINI USA announced today the introduction of a free app to MINI owners that allows access to roadside assistance with the touch of an icon. The new MINI Road Assist mobile application was developed by Allstate Roadside Services and is available for iPhone and select BlackBerry users. The app connects users to roadside assistance while automatically supplying the service provider with all relevant information about the vehicle, most importantly, its exact location.

The jury’s still out in my mind as to whether an app that focuses solely on your car’s propensity to break down is a good idea, but…….the notion of serving your young and hip clients this way sounds like a good one.
I don’t have an iPhone, but I get enough emails with “sent from my iPhone” written in the footer to know that they’re very popular.
If you’ve got one, would you want some sort of similar app from Saab? Or a different app?
What kind of Saaby app would you want?
Saab’s market researchers are quite possibly reading the funny pages this right now, so fire away.

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