Toyota Creating Private Social Network For Owners And Cars

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 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!