Reuters has reported that Toyota and Salesforce.com Inc will be teaming up to build a special social network called “Toyota Friend”. You might be wondering – why doesn’t the company just make use of Facebook instead? It’s definitely not going to be able to compete against the social network mammoth and it doesn’t intend to. Toyota Friend will let people do one thing Facebook users can’t: befriend their own cars.
Toyota Friend will be for people with internet-enabled Toyotas. Instead of checking out photographs of your friends getting smashed at parties or for you to link videos of cute kittens, Toyota Friend will establish a friendship between you and your car, keeping you informed about how it is doing. For example, if a car was low on battery and needs charging, it could send a reminder to the car owner through Toyota Friend so he/she won’t forget to juice up the vehicle before leaving for work tomorrow. A car reminding you to change the tires before you go on a long trip next weekend could be helpful for saving lives as well – just think of all the possibilities.
Users will also be able to engage in simple two-way conversations with the car, though it wasn’t mentioned how “simple” it would be. Toyota Friend will be launched in Japan together with Toyota’s first battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars next year. Let’s hope the cars don’t get jealous when you get involved in a more than one car relationship.