“I want a relationship with my car in the same way we have a relationship with our friends on social networks” sounds like the mumblings of a nerd. But software company boss Marc Benioff is dead serious. Luckily for him he’s found support in Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota.
The World’s Number 2 car company is launching a social network for owners based on the Chatter software from Benioff’s Salesforce.com company. Toyota Friend, as it will be known, is intended to make it easier for the car maker and its dealers to communicate with customers using mobile devices such as smart phones. Examples given as to what the network will be used for include messaging Toyota drivers that their car’s battery is low, as well as a subsequent ‘Tweet’ like message telling them when it will be charged up by.
Toyota Media Services Co., the company behind the service, will receive 223 million Yen investment from Salesforce.com, which specialises in software for managing customer relationships. Microsoft invested 442 million Yen in TMS last month and its technology will be used to help power social telematics systems.
No word yet on when Toyota Friend will be writing on UK customers’ walls.