Pizza Hut joins push for driverless vehicles

The pizza chain is partnering with Toyota on self-driving delivery units.

Pizza Hut announced today that it is one of the partners in a Toyota-led effort to develop self-driving delivery vehicles.

Toyota unveiled the e-Palette concept vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show as part of its “mobility service business alliance” that also includes Amazon, Uber, Mazda and Chinese ride-sharing company Didi.

The first U.S. road tests of the e-Palette, an autonomous battery-electric vehicle that looks like a toaster on wheels, are at least two years away, according to a company press release.

The business alliance will create a “broad-based ecosystem” of hardware and software to help companies take advantage of the new technology.

The e-Palette is being pitched as not only a potential human-free delivery vehicle for Pizza Hut, but as a possible mobile kitchen for the global pizza chain.

Starting early this year, Pizza Hut and Toyota will jointly test communication technology in pizza delivery vehicles to gather data on driver patterns and behaviors, the release says.

Domino’s last fall tested delivery via driverless cars outfitted with pizza ovens as part of a partnership with Ford.

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