Salesforce and Toyota plot 'social network' for cars

The two companies plan to develop 'Toyota Friend', a type of private social network that would allow a car to transmit its needs to its owner and Toyota have announced a strategic alliance to create 'Toyota Friend', a private social network for cars based on Salesforce's Chatter.

Toyota car logo

Toyota and Salesforce have joined forces to develop 'Toyota Friend', a type of social network for cars. Photo credit: Danielctw/Flickr

The network will first be offered in Japan alongside Toyota's electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012. The idea behind the social network is to give the car a social identity so that it can communicate its requirements — such as needing a service or an oil change — to its owner in a social-media fashion. It would also allow car owners to connect with dealers and the factory.

Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff said that as Toyota moved on with automotive technology, it also needed to adopt new cloud technology. "Toyota Friend is an idea that I had when I was thinking about the changes that are going on in our industry today," Benioff said. "I want a relationship with the car in the same way that I have a relationship with other friends on the social network," he added.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Salesforce, Toyota work on social cars on ZDNet Australia.

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