The Toyota Friend initiative is a joint project by Toyota Motor Corporation and cloud computing company Salesforce.
Toyota Friend will be a private social network exclusive to Toyota owners and those linked to the brand. It will be able to provide service information and maintenance tips, as well as send out ‘tweets’, for example when an EV needs recharging.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said Toyota Friend would enrich the vehicle ownership experience.
“Social networking services are transforming human interaction and modes of communication. The automobile needs to evolve in step with that transformation,” Mr Toyoda said.“I am always calling for Toyota to make ever better cars. The alliance that we announce today is an important step forward in achieving that goal.”
Toyota Friend will be launched sometime in 2012 for owners of EVs and plug-in hybrids purchased in Japan, before expanding globally.
It’s an interesting concept, and the first of its kind from a major automotive manufacturer with seemingly limitless potential.
Imagine if your car could communicate with its surroundings and send you a message: “Hey mate, 10 more minutes and my meter’s up. Come round, ASAP.”
Or connect with its GPS for something like: “Massive drive today from Sydney to Melb. This holiday is going to be epic.”
Let us know: Would you be friends with your car? And if so, what would you like it to say to you?