|TroothPress - technology|
Chris Woodyard USA Today - 23 May, 2011
Hello? This is your car calling. Do you mind if I start the engine and turn on the heat five minutes before you get in to go to work tomorrow?
That idea isn't too far-fetched, given Toyota's latest initiative.
Toyota, Salesforce.com and Microsoft are funding a project to create a social-networking service so drivers can interact with their cars in ways similar to Twitter and Facebook, the Associated Press reports.
Toyota and Salesforce.com set up an alliance called "Toyota Friend." It's a private social network for Toyota owners that works similar to tweets on Twitter. Together with Microsoft, the three companies are spending more than $10 million on the project combined.
The AP describes it like this:
In a demonstration at a Tokyo showroom, an owner of a plug-in Prius hybrid found out through a cellphone message from his Prius that he should remember to recharge his car overnight. When the owner plugged in his car to recharge it, the car replied, "The charge will be completed by 2:15 a.m. Is that OK? See you tomorrow."
The exchanges can be kept private, or be shared with other "Toyota Friend" users, as well as made public on Facebook, Twitter and other services, the company said.
companies did not give details of how the technology, such as the
content of the talking car's dialogs, will be managed. But officials
said the answers will be automated through sensors in the car. (original link)