Toyota wants you to "friend" your car

May 24, 2011 12:00 AM

The act of naming your car goes back to the early days of the automobile industry, so it makes sense that the next step in this era of social networking would be actually becoming friends with your vehicle.

Reuters reports that Toyota is launching a new "Toyota Friend" social network that will allow users to "friend" their own car. Essentially a private network for Toyota owners, the new program will allow users to access information about their vehicle from their computer, smartphone, tablet or even within the car itself. Each car will have a "profile," much like one would see on Facebook, with vital statistics and other information readily displayed.

From time to time, the car will automatically message the user with friendly reminders about tune-ups and other maintenance-related tasks. The owner will then be able to use the network to interact directly with the dealer about scheduling an appointment.

"Social networking services are transforming human interaction and modes of communication," Toyota President Akio Toyoda said at a press conference. "The automobile needs to evolve in step with that transformation."

The new program will first be implemented with electric and hybrid vehicles slated to be released in Japan for 2012. The company has not yet revealed a timetable for U.S. implementation, but it's expected to be sometime after the Japanese launch. 

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