Saab and Android are going on a road trip as the car maker will be using Google’s mobile platform to power its next-generation in-car infotainment IQon units.
As you would expect from Android, the Saab iQon in-car infortainment unit will give you e-mails, Google Maps, media and more. Because of the concerns about security, this likely won’t have full access to the Android Market but I’m sure that Saab will work with appropriate developers to develop apps for the IQon.
The Saab IQon infotainment unit is just the latest expansion for Android, as the platform is not just for phones anymore. We’re seeing it on various tablets, on the Barnes & Noble Nook Color e-reader, on television boxes with Google TV and in cars. In particular, I’m looking forward to getting Google Maps in all of its 3D glory on the Saab IQon.
this is also part of an interesting trend of car makers integrating mobile software into their vehicles. It’s tough for cars to have the same speed of innovation as the web and mobiles because there are longer development times and a crash in a car can kill people. Because of this, we’re seeing many car makers take advantage of the technology that’s being brought into the car.
BMW is playing around with BlackBerry and iPhone integration and this includes things like having your car read your phone’s e-mails and text messages.
Ford has probably been the most aggressive abut getting smartphone apps in your car, as it has launched initiatives which can bring things like Pandora and Twitter to your in-car entertainment unit. By utilizing the smartphone that’s brought in, this allows the car maker to not have to worry too much about having a mobile data connection or fostering its own app ecosystem.
What do you think of the Saab IQon with Android?