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Toyota to Launch Social Network for Its Cars

Posted: May 24, 2011 11:22 a.m.

Social networks are evolving, and while you may currently be using Facebook or Twitter to keep in touch with family and friends, soon it might be possible to keep tabs on your car as well. Toyota and Salesforce.com announced yesterday in a press release that they have “formed a strategic alliance to build ‘Toyota Friend’, a private social network for Toyota customers and their cars. Toyota Friend will be powered by Salesforce Chatter, a private social network used by businesses, and will be offered, first in Japan, initially with Toyota’s electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV) due in 2012.”

Toyota Friend may provide a level of convenience that will help owners of plug-in hybrids. “In a demonstration at a Tokyo showroom, an owner of a plug-in Prius hybrid found out through a cellphone message from his Prius called "Pre-boy" that he should remember to recharge his car overnight,” reports The Detroit News. “When the owner plugged in his car to recharge it, the car replied, ‘The charge will be completed by 2:15 a.m. Is that OK? See you tomorrow.’”

No word yet on when Toyota Friend will be available in the U.S., and although the network will be exclusive to Toyota Owners, they may be able to use it to update other social networks. “These customers will then be able to network amongst themselves, as well as with their cars, the dealership and Toyota,” writes Left Lane News. “Toyota says that customers will also be able to extend their communication to family, friends and even onto existing social media networks such as Facebook or Twitter.”

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