Codenamed Friend, it would put out micro updates similar to Twitter either between fellow drivers or even updates from a car although Toyota would probably not encourage such tasks as tweeting on the road (i.e. “I’m exiting”). On a more practical level, the Prius V could automatically post when it’s low on battery, needs maintenance as well as other important car tidbits. Imagine K.I.T.T.with Twitter: “Michael Knight needs to shut up. I AM in Pursuit mode!”
The service is expected to go live in 2012 and will debut in Japan with other countries not far behind.
In sync with the social component, Toyota’s Jason Schultz has given a 16-minute demo of the new Entune in-car system which makes large use of Bing and several other services like Golden Ticket that allow booking of movie tickets within the car. The walkthrough also showed off the iHeartRadio streaming, restaurant reservations using OpenTable and a whole slew of other features.
Similar to Google Maps, drivers can push destinations to and from an official smartphone app that links to all of the core services.
The feature will initially be available on the Prius V hybrid and will be available as an option called the Luxury Tech Package and will focus primarily on Android and iPhone at first, though BlackBerry and basic feature phones are coming as well. Windows Phone 7 is a “high priority” but is waiting on certain feature support, likely in the Mango update, before it can happen.
Hit the jump on the vid after the break