The future of pizza delivery is coming, and it’s autonomous.
In a move reminiscent of Black Mirror‘s season four episode Crocodile, Pizza Hut and Toyota have announced a joint project that includes a self-driving pizza delivery vehicle.
Toyota unveiled designs of the autonomous delivery vehicle concept, called the e-Palette, at CES 2018, while simultaneously naming Pizza Hut as one of the founding members of a new “mobility service business alliance” that also includes Amazon, Didi, Mazda and Uber.
Toyota says this alliance will use Toyota’s proprietary Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to “develop a suite of connected mobility solutions and a flexible, purpose-built fully-autonomous vehicle.”
Toyota plans to begin testing the e-Palette Vehicle Concept in “several regions,” including the U.S., as early as 2020. Additionally, starting in early 2018, Pizza Hut and Toyota will jointly test “dual communication technology” in Pizza Hut delivery vehicles to capture data on driver patterns and behaviors.
This isn’t Pizza Hut’s first foray into the world of technology — in 2017 it launched voice command ordering through Amazon’s Alexa and a digital pizza tracker that includes text messaging and rewards.
It’s also not the first time autonomous pizza delivery has entered the public conversation. Domino’s and Ford announced a partnership to test driverless pizza delivery in August 2017.
Meanwhile, a Californian startup called Zume is working on a vehicle that features robot chefs making pies on the way to their drop-off points, so we may see robot-made pizza delivered by autonomous vehicles in the not-too-distant future.
Hopefully, though, they’ll be a bit better at driving than the one in Black Mirror.