While we were all distracted by the chaos of 2018, Pizza Hut was apparently out here living in 3018. The brand recently unveiled a prototype delivery truck that produces zero emissions and uses robots to bake the pizza en route.
Dubbed the Tundra PIE Pro, the truck was a project for Toyota’s display at this year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, an annual exhibition of specialty automotive products. The PIE was originally a Toyota Tundra SR5 that the joint team completely torn down and then reassembled. They replaced the gas-powered engine with a hydrogen fuel-cell electric power unit, which they adapted from a Toyota Mirai. This hydrogen fuel-cell powers the truck and all of the automated pizza-making on board.
“When a Pizza Hut pizza is ordered, a robotic arm opens the refrigerator and removes the selected pizza, places it on the oven conveyor, and returns to close the refrigerator door,” a press release on the truck explained. “The pizza is then sent through a high-speed ventless oven. On the far side, a second arm removes the finished pie, places it on the cutting board, divides it into six identical slices, boxes it up, and delivers it to the customer.”
As futuristic and fun as it sounds to have a robot make your pizza from the back of a zero-emissions truck as it drives to your house, the truck also hints at some more dystopian futures as automation makes jobs obsolete, including pizza cook. All they need is to make the truck self-driving and the entire staff could be out of jobs—the thought makes the novelty of this prototype wear off pretty quickly. I’m down with the not destroying the planet part, though.