So you’re in the market for a new car that is going to be shared between family or friends. You’ll have to decide together on what kind of features and extras you buy, as well as the all-important color. But crowding around a laptop and scheduling long meetings during work hours with a dealership rep isn’t exactly the best solution. Working with Google, Toyota has made a better option.
Toyota Collaborator, powered by Google+ and based on Hangouts, is a new way to build a car with others. Specifically, it’s for the 2014 Toyota Corolla, though other models should be available later. Opening Collaborator will launch the familiar Hangout interface, but while the webcams will be on the bottom, the top will be dominated by the car customization screen.
From there, you can customize your Corolla to your liking. You can look around the exterior and interior, take the car for a virtual test drive on what looks to be Street View maps, and save designs for later. But the best part is inviting a local dealership rep into the call, who can schedule test drives and check inventory at the closest dealership.
It’s a pretty incredible achievement to have a program that does everything at once, even contacting a live Toyota rep when you’re done customizing the car. Google Hangouts under the hood is just a big plus. Would you use such a system to facilitate in the purchase of a new car? Do you like the new Corolla? I do. Leave a comment!