Pizza Hut, Toyota work toward shared autonomous ride
Jan. 9, 2018
by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
Toyota unveils self-driving delivery concept car called e-Palette.
PLANO, Texas – Pizza Hut and Toyota have formed a partnership to explore the future of food delivery, starting with designs for an autonomous concept vehicle that debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The mobility service business alliance, which includes Amazon, Didi, Mazda and Uber, uses Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to develop a suite of connected mobility solutions and a purpose-built fully autonomous vehicle. For Pizza Hut, Toyota developed the e-Palette and plans to test the vehicle concept in as early as 2020.
“In our ongoing and relentless pursuit to own and define the modern pizza experience for our customers, we are focused on technology-based solutions that enable our team members and drivers to deliver even better customer experiences,” Artie Starrs, president, Pizza Hut, US, said in a statement. “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 and Toyota will immediately begin work on plans to improve the existing driver and delivery ecosystem at Pizza Hut. The two companies jointly will test dual communication technology in Pizza Hut delivery vehicles to capture data on driver patterns and behaviors. The goal of the tests is to improve performance for both companies, optimize the safety of delivery and enhance delivery operations.
“The common ground between our two global brands is fueled by innovation that enriches peoples' lives,” Zack Hicks, CEO of Toyota Connected, said. “The e-Palette Alliance and e-Palette fully autonomous vehicle are major steps in our expansion to advance products and services that help provide mobility for all, and we're thrilled to continue the journey in partnership with Pizza Hut.”
In the future, the design could support Pizza Hut’s delivery business or even serve as a mobile kitchen in locations where such a concept would match consumer interests. “We are truly inspired to be part of this alliance, as the visions for our brand and those of Toyota are very similar,” Milind Pant, president, Pizza Hut International, said. “We are about making it easier to get a better pizza and Toyota is about providing mobility for all. Toyota is an exceptional fit as a technology partner to accelerate our commitment to the best delivery experience.”