Toyota cars to be driver's 'friend'
Tokyo, May 23, 2011
Toyota Motor Corp and cloud computing company Salesforce.com will build a social network service that will enable owners to become "friends" with their cars and get friendly, tweet-like reminders for maintenance checks and other notices.
The deal marks the second tie-up between the world's biggest automaker and a software company in as many months. Toyota and Microsoft Corp last month announced plans to bring Internet-connected services to Toyota's cars across the world.
"Social networking services are transforming human interaction and modes of communication," Toyota President Akio Toyoda told a joint news conference with Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff in Tokyo on Monday.
"The automobile needs to evolve in step with that transformation," Toyoda said.
Information technology and telematics are expected to play a key role in adding value to future cars, and become a marketing tool as consumers look for connectivity not just from their laptops and phones but also with their cars.
Toyota has already developed its own telematics service to connect it with drivers and dealers.
Under the new private social network, called "Toyota Friend", owners will be able to "chat" with their Toyotas like they would with a friend on Twitter or Facebook.
The car would have its own "profile" and send a message to the driver's phone, for instance, reminding him to recharge its depleted battery. The owner would be able to carry out a simple, two-way conversation with the car.
The service would be an extension of Toyota's network to be based on Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform that would give customers across the world access to Toyota's digital services such as GPS and multimedia.
Customers will be able to extend the private "Toyota Friend" network to include their family and friends through public social networks such as Twitter and Facebook.
The service will be offered first in Japan with Toyota's first battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars due next year, Toyota said.
Cloud-computing, one of the fastest-growing areas in the technology sector, refers to the use of remote data centres to deliver software, data and computing power. - Reuters
More Motoring Stories
- Toyota remains ‘world’s most valuable car brand’
- Yas Marina Circuit appoints new CEO
- Mercedes-Benz event shows off SUV range
- Qatar Rail backs Gulf Traffic Week
- Citibank in Bahrain F1 tickets offer
- New Renault Safrane arrives in Saudi
- Bentley announces key regional postings
- Jordan dealer launches Jaguar promotion
- New Maserati Ghibli launched in Bahrain
- BMW unveils mobile site, iDrive in Arabic
- Toyota holds body and paint contest in Bahrain
- 330 tonnes of specialist racing cargo for Bahrain
- Automatic licence holders 'can't drive manual cars in Qatar'
- Jaguar Land Rover wins advertising award
- Rolls-Royce to buy key Daimler stake
- Nissan develops ‘smart rearview mirror’
- Dubai Taxi to offer Wi-Fi Internet in cabs
- Infiniti unveils new engine for Q50 Eau Rouge
- Bentley to debut Continental GT Speed at Geneva
- 17 die on Saudi roads daily
- Gargash to build showrooms for China automaker
- Jaguar to launch new sports sedan
- Jaguar Land Rover launches pre-owned programme
- Nissan Patrol sales hit top gear in Jan
- Al-Futtaim wins control of Kenya motor firm
- Dubai RTA, vehicle mortgagers improve service
- Arabian Auto posts 20pc rise in Nissan sales
- Global premiere for two Maserati models
- New Lexus wins Wheels magazine award
- Batelco to hold annual motor show