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Toyota cars to be socially-networked

As an owner of Toyota car in 2012, you will be able to add your car (as a friend) in your private social network. Your car will then chat & send tweet-like alerts to you, about who's in the car & what's going on under the hood.. all in real time.

On 24th May, Toyota has joined hands with to launch "Toyota Friend", a private social network powered by SalesForce Chatter. Using Cloud Computing technology, ToyotaFriend will allow drivers to connect with their cars, dealers & services. In addition, Toyota has partnered with Microsoft to build Telematics services, based on Windows Azure platform.

Toyota's embrace for emerging technologies is certainly a game-changer, for the automobile industry. It would allow car's to report their vital stats, resulting in better maintenance & efficiency. Dealers will be able to access diagnostic data over the cloud. Networking will be possible on the road among fellow drivers or in the car among fellow riders. Location based services will get their most potent mobile device on the road.. which will be the smart-car.

Traditionally, the vision of a smart-car has been one which may autopilot or find it's own way. With the social-media twist, the new definition of a smart car will be a networked car. Similar to the arrival of Smart-TV, we will soon be using Apps-enabled & socially-networked cars, if Toyota's vision is realized.

Back from 2010 days, Toyota has struggled with the safety-issues & recalls. It's position as #1 global automobile giant was challenged. But today, Toyota is proving itself to be a progressive company, by leading the adoption of emerging industry trends.

The first rollout of services is expected in Japan by 2012, and then worldwide.