Pizza companies are unmatched when it comes to innovation in the name of brand activations. Pizza Hut is a leader in this space, creating everything from sneakers that can pause your TV and order pizza to building working turntables into pizza boxes. Now, the company has teamed up with Toyota to build the Tundra PIE Pro, a zero-emission pickup with a robotic pizza-making factory in the truck bed.
The concept is fairly simple. Robot arms first pull out a preassembled pizza from the mini-refrigerator, then place the pizza onto a high-speed ventless conveyor oven. A second robot arm transfers the finished pie onto a cutting board, divides the pizza into six pieces, and slides it into a pizza box. The whole process takes around six to seven minutes. Here’s a time lapse of the pizza factory at work.
The pizza factory is built from a Tundra SR5 that was reassembled from the ground up, with the gasoline-powered drivetrain replaced with a hydrogen fuel-cell electric power unit from a Toyota Mirai. The Tundra PIE Pro is one of a kind, so we’ll probably never see one of these pickup trucks speeding down the highway, peps a-blowing away in the wind, which is probably for the best.
Robot automation in pizza restaurants isn’t a new idea, and the en route cooking concept is already being patented by pizza delivery startups like Zume. Zume’s pizza delivery vehicles are actually way better executed because they’re FedEx-sized trucks equipped with dozens of pizza ovens in an enclosed space, and they don’t expose their pizzas to, you know, all of the elements like the open-air Tundra PIE Pro pickup truck. You live and you learn!