It’s no secret that Toyota is an automaker that continues to focus on pushing the boundaries of vehicular technology. With advancements like integrating Amazon’s Echo into automobile infotainment systems, as well as becoming the leading name in the electric vehicle revolution, Toyota has proven on countless occasions that it’s both the most innovative and most determined manufacturer in the industry.
However, one of its newest concepts is a little different, but it’s also one that we here at Westbury Toyota find very exciting (and we think you will too!). With this in mind, join us as we break down all of the delicious details regarding Toyota and Pizza Hut's bold new self-driving vehicle partnership.
Toyota’s already got a foot on the ground when it comes to a self-driving delivery vehicle in the form of the e-Pallette. While it looks a little odd (the common consensus being a toaster on wheels), the e-Pallette isn’t just destined to deliver pizzas. As Marty Swant of Adweek describes,this autonomous offering is also designed to deliver all manner of other goods and services.
While still just being a concept vehicle, the e-Pallete was on display at Toyota’s booth at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January. One side of the vehicle showed digital advertising displays on a constant loop, giving convention-goers a glimpse of the many potential uses of an autonomous delivery vehicle. Instead of having to leave your house and travel long distances to visit stores, the e-Pallete could theoretically bring that store to you. This is a development that could completely change the way you buy things, as well as restructure the world of shopping as we know it.
In an effort to leverage the power of the e-Pallete platform for a more immediate upgrade to your daily routine, Toyota is teaming up with Pizza Hut to develop the world’s first run of autonomous pizza delivery vehicles. That this new take on the e-Pallete will up the delivery game when it comes to any kind of delivery restaurant is a no-brainer, but Pizza Hut and Toyota both see this joint operation as just the beginning of something far greater than merely optimizing the process of delivering your favorite pie when the time comes to quell a pizza crazing.
Digging a little deeper, Toyota and Pizza Hut aim to have prototype working versions ready by 2020. In preparation for that, the two companies are working together now to record driver behaviors and patterns in order to augment delivery communications with the intent of using that data to enhance the performance and safety of the e-Pallette once it’s up and running on the roads of cities like Westbury.
Pizza Hut isn’t the only company that Toyota is teaming up with regarding the e-Pallete, though. Specifically, Uber and Amazon are also forming a partnership with the automaker in order to explore other potential uses of the autonomous delivery vehicle. As Scott Stump of Today explains, the e-Pallette will feature an interior open layout in order to make it highly configurable depending on what it’s going to be used for. Additionally, the e-Pallette will also be available in varying lengths, ranging from 13 feet to 23 feet long, thereby allowing companies to select a size that works best for their needs.
At Westbury Toyota, we’re more than a little eager to see the Pizza Hut/Toyota driverless pizza delivery project hit the streets, because who wouldn’t want their pizza delivered by a fully autonomous vehicle? However, we’re also excited because of the other possibilities this kind of development heralds.
Imagine it: Amazon home deliveries that eliminate the wait time, Uber rides that are capable of carrying more than just a few people in the backseat, home grocery delivery, a mobile electronic device store – the possibilities are almost endless. This is the kind of concept that has the very real potential to change the entire landscape of home delivery, and we’re proud to be a part of the family that helped conceive it. Toyota never stops working toward advancements meant to improve convenience and efficiency and has proven it time and time again, and we’re looking forward to seeing what other concepts follow in the footsteps of the quirky, yet potentially groundbreaking, e-Pallete self-driving pizza platform.