Toyota Signs Pizza Hut as Driverless-Delivery Partners
Written by Nette on January 11, 2018
Last year, Pizza Hut made strides on the issue of lukewarm pizza with its new delivery system, designed to keep pizzas 15 degrees hotter in transit. If well-insulated delivery bags got you excited, the pizza chain’s latest project will blow your mind. Pizza Hut announced a partnership with Toyota to develop a “fully autonomous delivery vehicle” to be tested by 2020, and it might just cook your pizza on the way. Fitting, given that the model looks like a toaster oven.
— Pizza Hut (@pizzahut) January 8, 2018
Toyota debuted the “e-Palette Concept Vehicle” at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, which is designed to be used for transportation and business purposes. It’s part of the e-Palette Alliance, a collaboration that includes partners like Pizza Hut, Amazon, DiDi (an international ride-share company), and Uber.
On Pizza Hut’s part, the truck’s design could mean pizza-making happens on the go. In a press release, Pizza Hut said that “given the flexibility of the e-Palette design, [it] could even serve as a mobile kitchen in areas of the world where such an experience would match consumer interests.”
In a statement about the project, Pizza Hut International President Milind Pant said the collaboration will aid Pizza Hut’s commitment to offering the best delivery experience. “We are about making it easier to get a better pizza and Toyota is about providing mobility for all.”
Meanwhile, Pizza Hut’s U.S. President Artie Starrs said the project would help define “the pizza delivery experience of the future.”
While Toyota plans to start testing the e-Palette Vehicle as early as 2020, the two companies are already at work to refine the current delivery process. Starting this year, Pizza Hut and Toyota will collect data on driver patterns and behaviors in order to make the delivery process safer and more efficient.
Meanwhile, we won’t be surprised if an update from Domino’s comes soon. Pizza Hut’s competitor started testing driverless delivery cars in Michigan last fall but hasn’t said much about their timeline since. While we might not be at flying-car status yet, the future of driving is definitely coming.