Car manufacturer Toyota has developed a private social media platform know as the “Toyota Friend” service. This social media platform will enable drivers of Toyota’s electric and plug-in hybrid cars to use their smartphones, tablets and computers to access their car’s data.
The Toyota Friend service will allow these drivers to share diagnostic information about their cars with dealerships and relevant servicing personnel. The information include things like driving habits, car performance and battery level.
Drivers of Toyota’s greener cars can also connect the network to existing well-known social networks like Twitter and Facebook to share stories and improve efficiency. Toyota is not the first to develop social media platforms for their vehicles. Ford has worked with Microsoft to create Sync, an on-board wireless system that lets drivers access the Bing search engine and a number of interactive online features.
Toyota is developing this social presence along with Salesforce, a provider of web-based software for large companies. Salesforce.com will invest $2.7 million in Toyota Media Service, which oversees Toyota’s cloud computing projects like Toyota Friend. As part of the deal. Toyota will also invest $5.4 million in its media subsidiary to fund the private social network.
Toyota will benefit from Salesforce.com’s private enterprise social network known as Chatter. This network feeds into its customer relationship management (CRM) software and is designed to streamline collaboration and internal communication. Like Yammer, chatter is a mainstream social networking site for large enterprises. The service will first be available in Japan in 2012.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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