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Toyota to Create Online Network for Hybrid Drivers

Toyota has partnered with Salesforce.com to create an exclusive online environment for hybrid drivers, planning to launch a private social network that will allow members to share maintenance tips and information with one another.

The Toyota Friend network will allow the Japanese car company to deliver constantly updated information and maintenance reminders to its clients. The network is scheduled to be built by Microsoft and launch in Japan next year, with a presence in the U.S. and European markets to follow. Initially intended for owners of electric cars, plug-in hybrid owners will be permitted to join later.

“Toyota will know from chips installed in each electric-powered vehicle what advice to give owners via its automated response system,” company spokeswoman Shiori Hashimoto explained, adding that electric and hybrid vehicles are easiest to program for this sort of service.

Plans for the network include allowing owners to invite others to join and creating Toyota Friend apps for smartphones and tablets as well as traditional PCs. Plans to include owners of gasoline-powered vehicles on Toyota Friend have not been announced.

More information regarding Salesforce’s latest investments with Japan’s Cloud 2 industry is available here.

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