Toyota will build a private social network for its customers and their cars. The network will be first launched in Japan.
The Japanese carmaker said it will work with Salesforce.com, a U.S. enterprise cloud computing company specialized in social collaboration, to build the service, which will be called "Toyota Friend." The service will be powered by Salesforce Chatter, a private social network used by businesses.
Toyota Friend will connect customers with their cars, their dealership and with Toyota. It will provide proudct and service information and maintenance tips. The service will be accessible through PCs, smart phones, table PCs and other mobile devices.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in a press release that social networking is transforming human interaction and communication. "The automobile needs to evolve in step with that transformation," he said.
Added Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff: "Social and mobile technologies will transform the car-ownership experience."