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Toyota Working On ‘Toyota Friend’ Social Network

Toyota is creating a social networking service with the help of an American ISP and Microsoft in an initiative aimed to get drivers to interact with their cars, much like they do with Facebook and Twitter. Japanese auto-maker Toyota is teaming up with Salesforce.com to launch a new social network called “Toyota Friend”, the network is aimed to work similar to Twitter.

In a Tokyo demo-room, an owner of a plug-in Prius discovered from his Prius that he should remember to recharge the car overnight. Once the owner plugged in the car, the car answered “The charge will be completed by 2:15AM, see you tomorrow.” The messages between man and machine may either be kept private, shared on Toyota’s network, or shared on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Toyota claimed that the car’s responses will be automated depending on the car’s components, such as fuel levels. Toyota is investing about 5.5 million American dollars and Microsoft is investing about 4.1 million American dollars, with Salesforce tagging along at $2.8 million in the project. My question to Toyota users is, even though this is a convenient new feature, what will happen if you ever drive a car other than Toyota? Will you forget to maintain your car as a result of being over-dependent on the machine?

Photo Courtesy of autoviva
Photo Courtesy of ToyotaUK