Saab, bless its innovative Scandinavian heart, has unveiled its new PhoeniX concept, with an iQon entertainment system based on Google's hugely popular Android software. Yeah, we know, Saab hasn't been trendy for a while now but it's okay to be impressed... go with it.
The PhoeniX is standard concept-car fare -- ie amazing-looking. It's a sporty, four-seater hybrid car that does 56.5mpg, spits 119g of CO2 per kilometre and drops underwear from 200 paces. Its iQon system, however, is anything but standard.
Using Android means passengers will be able to browse the Internet, enjoy music and movies and download a range of apps via an 8-inch touchscreen display integrated into the dashboards of the PhoeniX and future Saab cars.
Apps specifically written for the car have plenty of potential. Saab says iQon will have access to over 500 data signals from various sensors located around the vehicle. Apps will be able to read data pertaining to the car's speed, location, direction of travel, driver workload, yaw rate, steering-wheel angle, engine speed and torque, inside and outside temperature, barometric pressure and -- bizarrely -- the sun's position.
Obviously, we can expect the usual plethora of apps telling you how many Gs you're pulling through corners. More usefully, perhaps, we should also see a host of diagnostic apps that report problems with the car's various systems in a language that users and dealers can easily understand.
If Saab plays its cards right, there should be no shortage of apps headed to iQon. The company aims to encourage participation from the global Android development community with an "open innovation" strategy that invites developers "to use their imagination and ingenuity".
The iQon system is being shown for the first time in Saab's PhoeniX concept car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Drag your eyeballs across our photo gallery above to get a closer look at the PhoeniX.