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8 January, 2018

Here’s an Autonomous Pizza-Oven-on-Wheels No One Asked For

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Pizza Hut and Toyota team up to make a self-driving delivery truck

As we hurtle toward a dystopian future in which all jobs have been taken by robots and other high-tech machines, Pizza Hut is looking for a leg up in the pizza delivery wars by eliminating human element. The chain is partnering with Toyota on a driverless concept vehicle that could one day cook and deliver Pizza Hut pies.

This move will be of interest to Domino’s, which has been leading pizza delivery innovation with drones, self-driving cars, and vehicles touting backseat ovens. Pizza Hut has truly upped the game by installing those backseat ovens in autonomous trucks, mashing up two “innovations” in a sleek box on wheels.

Toyota calls the vehicle the “e-Palette” and introduced it at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday. Test models could hit the streets by 2020, reports Business Insider. After that, it may only be a matter of time before the Hut can boost its balance sheet with a trimmed-down workforce that does not include professional delivery people.

“With Toyota, we are excited to be partnering with an undisputed leader in human mobility with a reputation for innovation, reliability and efficiency, as we define the pizza delivery experience of the future,” Pizza Hut US president Artie Starrs said in a statement provided to BI.

Until Pizza Hut actually defines the future by clogging America’s roads with huge, self-driving pizza ovens, the chain can expect to receive a good bit of online guff from its competitors, like the flame-war professionals at DiGiorno:

Toyota and Pizza Hut Are Teaming Up to Make Self-Driving Cars That Could Deliver Pizza [BI]
Domino’s Is the Best Delivery Startup in America [E]
Domino’s Now Delivering Pizza by Drone [E]
Domino’s and Ford Will Test Self-Driving Pizza Delivery Cars [Verge]