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SEMA show: Toyota cooks up robotic pizza
Pizzas on the run at Toyota with hydrogen fuel-cell Tundra delivery pick-up
31 Oct 2018
LIKE your pizza piping hot? Toyota might have the answer with a one-off hydrogen-fuel-cell-powered Tundra delivery pick-up that – theoretically – can cook your Pizza Hut order right at your door.
Two robots cook, slice and box pizzas in six or seven minutes in the rear tray of the truck while the delivery driver steers the vehicle to the delivery destination, meaning soggy luke-warm pizza could be a thing of the past.
That is, of course, if the concept shown at this year’s SEMA aftermarket and accessories show in Las Vegas ever makes it into production.
Pizza Hut is keen on the idea, saying it would bring the pizza oven closer to the consumer’s door in a first for the industry.
However, it says it has no target date for introducing such a service.
Powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell electric powertrain borrowed from Toyota’s Mirai, the Pie Pro Tundra large pick-up is a one-off creation designed to catch attention at the annual Las Vegas vehicle enhancement extravaganza.
Apart from delivering freshly baked pizza at your door, the appeal of the pizza truck extends to its environmental friendliness as it employs carbon-free hydrogen fuel-cell energy to not only power the truck but also the on-board pizza oven and storage refrigerator.
A robotic arm removes the prepared pizza from the fridge and places it on a pizza oven conveyor. The cooked pizza is then placed on a turntable where it is sliced by another robot before being placed by the robotic arm in a box for delivery.
When it is ready, the robot rings a desk bell. Ding!
It might be a bit of fun, but Toyota and Pizza Hut are jointly exploring other new technologies to enhance the delivery process. These include autonomous delivery vehicles.
In the case of the pizza Tundra, however, a driver is included.
Alongside the Pie Pro Tundra at the show is the Kevin Costner Tundra – a serious high-riding off-road truck designed for movie star Kevin Costner.
The vehicle is not only his personal play thing at his Aspen ranch in Colorado but also a co-star in his TV series, Yellowstone.
Also at SEMA, Toyota has taken full advantage of the arrival of its new Corolla hatchback by wheeling out two of highly modified beasts developed by competing tuning houses.
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