Toyota, Salesforce.com set up vehicle owner social network

The automaker will use its platform to advise people on maintaining electric vehicles

Toyota Motor will partner Salesforce.com to offer owners of its electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles a private social network, Toyota Friend, for sharing maintenance tips, the companies announced Monday.

Toyota Friend will let the automaker reach buyers of the vehicles to pass on up-to-date information and remind them of maintenance timelines, the two companies said.

For example, with the Salesforce Chatter service Toyota could alert a customer whose vehicle was low on battery power and needed recharging.

The automaker will launch Toyota Friend next year in Japan, followed by the U.S. and Europe, initially with owners of electric vehicles, followed by buyers of plug-in hybrids.

Toyota, which sells vehicles in 170 countries, will know from chips installed in each electric-powered vehicle what advice to give owners from its automated response system, said company spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto .

It is easiest to program the electric and hybrid vehicles for the service, she said. Toyota has not said whether it will later add gasoline-powered vehicles to the social network.

The network can also loop in Toyota dealerships, and vehicle owners can choose to invite others, such as friends or family members, by using the network's invite functions. Toyota Friend applications will be available for smartphones and tablets, while traditional PCs can access it on the Web.

Toyota will put up 442 million yen (US$5.4 million) for the service, and Salesforce.com will invest 223 million yen, the companies said.

Microsoft will invest 335 million yen for promotional reasons to build the cloud-based Toyota Friend network itself. Last month it announced a partnership with Toyota to build a telematics services platform.

Toyota seeks to work with other world IT companies to advance its "future mobility," the automaker said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesAutomotiveToyotaSalesforce.comsocial networkingindustry verticalsinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ralph Jennings

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?