Pizza Hut recently teamed with Toyota to develop the zero-emission Tundra PIE Pro, a mobile pizza factory with the ability to deliver oven-hot pizza wherever it goes. The full-size pizza-making truck was introduced at Toyota's 2018 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show presentation.
"We are constantly focused on evolving our processes and systems through improvements and innovations that allow our team members and drivers to better serve our customers," said Nicolas Burquier, Chief Customer and Operations Officer, Pizza Hut, U.S. "We are exploring next-generation solutions and automation to support and streamline our delivery business in the future. The Tundra PIE Pro and our work with Toyota are only helping accelerate our commitment to transform both the team member and the customer experience at Pizza Hut."
The Tundra PIE Pro features a unique truck bed that has been converted into a virtual pizza factory on wheels—also known as "The Kitchen"—which contains a refrigerator, a pair of computer-guided robotic arms, and a portable conveyor oven. Like the truck itself, all components in The Kitchen are powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell electric powertrain. From start to finish, the pizza-making process takes between six and seven minutes.
Built to make pizza on the go, the Tundra PIE Pro presents an untapped opportunity for Pizza Hut to expand its delivery radius without compromising the quality of the pizza, allowing a broader base of customers to have oven-hot Pizza Hut pizza delivered to their doorstep.
The starting point for the Tundra PIE Pro was a Tundra SR5 that was torn down to a bare rolling chassis and then reassembled from the ground up. The conventional gasoline-powered drivetrain was removed and replaced with a hydrogen fuel-cell electric power unit adapted from the Toyota Mirai.
When a Pizza Hut pizza is ordered, the first robotic arm opens the refrigerator and removes the selected pizza, places it on the oven conveyor, and returns to close the refrigerator door. 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.
Earlier this year, Toyota announced the E-Pallete Alliance, which includes Pizza Hut, and unveiled a fully-autonomous concept vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The Tundra PIE Pro is the second collaboration from the two innovation-driven brands.