Pizza Hut & Toyota Dream Up an Autonomous Pizza Oven Vehicle

You’ll never need to talk to a pizza man again!

By Ethan L. Johns
January 09, 2018

Image: Pizza Hut

As humanity willingly and enthusiastically goads itself further and further down the path to total machine domination, history as written by the victor will remember the day when robot finally overcame its ultimate obstacle: preventing cold delivery pizza.

On Monday, Pizza Hut announced that it would be partnering with Toyota to develop an autonomous pizza delivery mobile, capable of transporting hot pizzas without a human driver. It’s an innovation so revolutionary, so bold indeed, that is has also been undertaken by companies like Domino’s and Ford, which are developing driverless delivery cars, and Amazon, which is experimenting with unmanned drone delivery.

The conceptual self-driving vehicle—known a e-Palette—was unveiled for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Toyota explained that it would be also working with Amazon and Uber to develop different uses for its product. Medium also reports that the e-Palette will be used during the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Toyota and Pizza Hut, in the meantime, will study driver patterns and behaviors in order to improve the e-Palette’s functionality. Pizza Hut sees potential for the autonomous delivery vehicle as a way for customers to receive better pizza, and believes that, “given the flexibility of the e-Palette design, [it] could even serve as a mobile kitchen” if the demand is high.

"We are about making it easier to get a better pizza and Toyota is about providing mobility for all,” said Pizza Hut International President Milind Pant in a press release. “Toyota is an exceptional fit as a technology partner to accelerate our commitment to the best delivery experience."

Some internet inhabitants (and the social media ninjas at DiGiorno) were quick to point out the e-Palette’s uncanny resemblance to a toaster. Others found the announcement timely, coming shortly after the release of a new season of Netflix’s technopocalyptic Black Mirror, which features runaway self-driving vehicles that don’t bother to stop for pedestrians.

Or, if all of this terrifies you, you could always just bypass the delivery altogether and make Pizza Hut-style pizza at home.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns