Toyota Motor Corp. and and San Francisco-based Salesforce.com is setting up a social networking service called “Toyota Friend”, similar to Facebook and Twitter. The new service allow users to exchange real time updates with Toyota drivers, connect with local dealers and remotely obtain information about their hybrid vehicles, such as battery usage. It is expected to debut in Japan before it rolls out globally in 2012.
“This represents a concrete step towards creating a more mobile society,” Toyota president Akio Toyoda said at a press conference in Tokyo. “Toyota can learn a lot from an entrepreneurial firm like Salesforce.com.”
The new service primarily relies on third party smartphones and other mobile devices sold separately from its cars. The network will be powered by enterprise social network Salesforce.com’s Chatter and Toyota’s telematics platform.
Toyota is investing 442 million yen ($5.5 million) in Toyota Media Service, Microsoft Corp., aiming to bring Internet services to Toyota vehicles, is investing 335 million yen ($4.1 million) and Salesforce.com will be investing 223 million yen ($2.8 million) in the project.