Toyota drivers will soon be able to befriend their cars online.
Toyota is partnering with the computing company Salesforce.com to build a social networking service just for Toyota owners. The idea behind the “Toyota Friend” service it to let drivers “chat” with their Toyota vehicles the way they would talk with other people on websites like Facebook. Each car will get its own profile and will be able to send messages or tweets to the owner with real-time updates and maintenance reminders. Drivers will be able to send messages back to the vehicle and other Toyota owners, as well as hook up with local Toyota dealers and get diagnostic information about their cars. “Toyota Friend” is due to roll out first in Japan. That should happen next year.