Toyota is teaming up with cloud computing provider Salesforce.com to create a social network, specifically designed for Toyota drivers and their cars.
The social network, called Toyota Friend, will connect Toyota customers with their cars, their dealership, and with Toyota. It will have information for drivers including information on the closest local dealers, maintenance advice and product information. The service will be available on electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV) in 2012, initially in Japan.
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 Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Company, in a statement.
The service will be powered by Salesforce's Chatter. It will use many popular social networking techniques and services. For instance, if a car is running low on battery power, the social network will tweet this to the driver. The service will also be able to sync up with Twitter and Facebook and communicate through those services. In addition to an on board platform, the service will be available on smart phones and tablets.
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, Salesforce.com chief Marc Benioff said in a statement.
Salesforce.com has made its name in cloud computing, providing online storage services to a variety of businesses. The companies say they plan on leveraging the Toyota Friend platform to create new business opportunities, i.e. revenue generators.