Social networks are really important for almost all people. There are thousands of people that are reading Facebook status updates, looking at photos uploaded by friends or tweeting about what they are doing. There is absolutely no denying the fact that social networks like Twitter, Google Plus and Facebook have changed the way we stay in touch with friends and family members. One problem exists though; you cannot do that while you are driving around cities. Toyota is trying to change this.
Soon we will be able to keep a tab on our car as Salesforce.com and Toyota just released a press release in which they announced plans to create and launch Toyota Friend as soon as possible. This is basically a special, private social network that is especially built for Toyota cars and their customers. The Friend application is to be powered by Salesforce Chatter, a business based private social network platform.
Initially, the service will be available in Japan for the Toyota PHV (plug-in hybrid, also known as PHV) and EV (electric vehicle) models. The release is right around the corner as a 2012 date for implementation was announced and is to be respected.
Toyota Friend will be more than just a social network app. It can also work on improving owner confidence level. This is something that is truly unique in the auto industry. The Detroit News reported about a demonstration that was held in Tokyo. The owner of a Prius (PHV model) received a mobile phone message from the car and he was told that there is a need to remember to recharge the vehicle overnight. As soon as the owner plugged in the car, it replied by saying that the process will be over by around 2:15 AM, asked if this was ok and told the owner that it will see him the next day.
Nobody knows when Toyota Friend will appear in US or in other countries except Japan. The interesting part is that, even if the new social network is exclusively designed to work for people that own cars from the manufacturer, the app can be utilized in order to update various other social networks. According to a release by Left Lane News, the customers can “network amongst themselves” and with the cars, Toyota or the dealership. The communication potential is to be extended to friends and family members that own other vehicles or are at home through Facebook and Twitter.
There are various apps on the market at the moment that works in a similar fashion but only with Smartphones. This would be the first ever to be based on the technology that is included inside a car. Social media enthusiasts from around the world are happy to hear the news and Toyota believes that making this investment will increase sales, especially in the PHV and EV sectors. Only time will tell if this move will be successful and it will be used by Toyota owners but there is no denying that the potential is huge.