We've known that technology and automobiles have been growing closer for
some time now, and Toyota
is clearly riding that bandwagon for as long
as it's going. The company just announced a new cloud computing
initiative with Salesforce.com that will result in a new social network
service, enabling owners to become "friends" with their cars, and
receive heads-up reminders (similar to tweets) for maintenance
reminders. Granted, Chevy's OnStar system could already do something
similar, but the more the merrier!
The deal will mean that Japan gets it first, with electric cars being
the first to integrate into the network. Plug-in hybrid vehicle support
is on schedule for 2012. The project will be called "Toyota Friend," and
is described as a private network that connects Toyota customers with
their cars, their dealership, and with Toyota. Toyota Friend will
provide a variety of product and service information as well as
essential maintenance tips, creating a rich car ownership experience.
For example, if an EV or PHV is running low on battery power, Toyota
Friend would notify the driver to re-charge in the form of a
"tweet"-like alert. In addition, while Toyota Friend will be a private
social network, customers can choose to extend their communication to
family, friends, and others through public social networks such as
Twitter and Facebook. The service will also be accessible through smart
phones, tablet PCs, and other advanced mobile devices.
So, ready to get even friendlier with your car? Hope so!