Toyota is taking social networking to a completely new level. Toyota drivers will be able to personally connect with their cars through a new Toyota owner exclusive social network.
Toyota Motor Corporation and salesforce.com have announced a strategic partnership that will create “Toyota Friend.” The social network, additionally funded by Microsoft, will initially be paired with Toyota’s 2012 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
Toyota Friend will provide a variety of product and service information for customers, including maintenance tips. This connection between driver and car will create a totally new social networking experience. An example of the unique features Toyota Friend will provide is vehicle alerts. For example, when a vehicle starts to run low on battery power, Toyota Friend will send a “tweet”-like alert to notify the owner. Additionally, Toyota Friend will be a private social network where customers can choose to extend communication to family, friends and others through public social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. The service will also be accessible through smartphones, tablet PCs, and other mobile devices.
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“Toyota and salesforce.com share a vision to take the auto industry into the future. Social and mobile technologies will transform the car ownership experience, and we are excited to be Toyota’s partner in this transformation,” said salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff in a statement.
“Social networking services are transforming human interaction and modes of communication. The automobile needs to evolve in step with that transformation. 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,” said Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyada.