Pizza Hut Looks To Automate Delivery With Toyota Tundra Prototype

Posted by at 12:49 pm on October 30, 2018

As part of the restaurant’s latest partnership with Toyota Motor Corp., Pizza Hut has unveiled a robot-operated mobile pizza factory in the bed of a modified Toyota Tundra.

The automated pizza maker takes six to seven minutes to cook a pizza. After an order is placed, the first robotic arm opens the refrigerator, removes the proper pizza and places it on the oven conveyor, which sends it through a high-speed ventless oven.

When it’s done cooking, the second robotic arm removes the pizza, places it on the cutting board, slices it into six slices and puts it in a pizza box.

A driver would then deliver the pizza to the door. But in the future, the pizza pickup could even drive itself to the customer. Pizza Hut is working with Toyota on its E-Pallete Alliance, part of which is a fully self-driving concept vehicle the car maker revealed earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show.

“We’re bringing the oven closer to the consumer’s door; nobody is doing that,” Pizza Hut’s chief customer and operations officer in the U.S., Nicolas Burquier, said in an interview. “We are pretty obsessed with improving the customer experience. The more we can get closer to their homes or the point of delivery, the better and hotter the product will be.”

There’s no target date for the robotic pizza maker’s debut, Burquier said.

Pizza Hut’s announcement comes on the heels of a January deal to join Toyota’s mobility alliance that’ll develop fully autonomous vehicles. However, the hydrogen-powered Tundra used in the partnership will not be self-driving, Burquier said.

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