We’ve gone far beyond that “check engine” light now: Toyota has created a social networking function for its cars so you can friend it on Facebook or have it Tweet you when the gas is low or just chitchat about shoes with it. Because you know, checking the gauge when you’re actually in the car would just be too much work.
Toyota will be launching its own private social network, Toyota Friend, CNNMoney reports. Beyond the private realm of Toyota Friend, users will be able to extend the communication to friends and family via Facebook/Twitter, receiving updates in your feed and such.
“The car can talk to me, and I can talk to the car,” said Kraig Swensrud, senior vice president of marketing at Salesforce.com (CRM), the San Francisco-based cloud computing firm that’s powering the new network.
President Akio Toyoda said in the company press release: “Social networking services are transforming human interaction and modes of communication. The automobile needs to evolve in step with that transformation. I am always calling for Toyota to make ever-better cars. The alliance that we announce today is an important step forward in achieving that goal.”
The first cars to have such social networking capabilities will hit the market in Toyotas 2012 electric and plug-in hybrids in Japan. Users will be able to access the network from mobile phones, computers, dashboards and any other Internet-capable devices.
No word yet on whether cars will be able to play against owners in Scrabble or plant crops on Farmville.
Toyota wants you to friend your car. Really. [CNNMoney]