Toyota is setting up a social networking service with the help of a U.S. Internet company and Microsoft so drivers can interact with their cars in a way that`s similar to posting on Facebook or Twitter.
Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp. and Salesforce.com, based in San Francisco, announced their alliance Monday to launch "Toyota Friend," a private social network for Toyota owners.
In a demonstration at a Tokyo showroom, an owner of a plug-in Prius hybrid found out through a cell phone message from his Prius called "Pre-boy" that he should remember to recharge his car overnight.
When the owner plugged in his car to recharge it, the car replied, "The charge will be completed by 2:15 a.m. Is that OK? See you tomorrow."
Since many next-generation cars need to be recharged, drivers may need real-time information, such as the battery level of their cars and locations of charging stations, more than regular gas-engine cars.
The exchanges can be kept private or be shared with other "Toyota Friend" users, as well as made public on Facebook, Twitter and other services, the company said.
The companies did not give details of how the technology, such as the content of the talking car`s dialogues, will be managed. But officials said the answers will be automated through sensors in the car.
If your car is up for an inspection, for example, the owner will be notified through "Toyota Friend," which will in turn automatically link to a dealer to set up an appointment.
Toyota is investing 442 million yen ($5.5 million), Microsoft Corp. is investing 335 million yen ($4.1 million) and Salesforce.com 223 million yen ($2.8 million) in the project.
Many cars are already equipped with navigation and other network-linking capabilities that make them almost like mobile devices.
Toyota`s service, built on open-source cloud platforms that are the specialty of Salesforce.com, as well...
Posted by Asha 930 days ago (http://www.newsfactor.com)
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