Attendees at SEMA are treated to a variety of technological innovations, but some are more appetizing than others, including the Toyota Tundra PIE Pro, which is basically a pizza maker on the go.
The automaker teamed up with Pizza Hut to develop the concept vehicle that’s sure to be a hit with foodies (at least those who don’t mind eating a pizza pie from a chain restaurant).
Developers took a stock Tundra SR5 pickup truck and made just a few customizations. First, they replaced the gas engine with a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain.
“Its only environmental impact—aside from producing delicious Pizza Hut pizza— is water vapour emitted from the tailpipes,” Toyota noted in a release. “This means its carbon footprint is essentially zero (not counting the carbon-based compounds on the pie).”
The Tundra PIE Pro utilizes a unit adapted from the Toyota Miri that both drives the vehicle forward and powers the self-contained kitchen built into the truck’s bed. A refrigerator contains uncooked pizzas, while a conveyor oven cooks the pies. The process is carried out by a pair of robotic, computer-guided arms. Power is generated from the fuel-cell powertrain, making it eco-friendly.
The best part is that it takes just six to seven minutes to make a pizza from start to finish. One robot arm removes a pizza from the refrigerator, puts it in the oven, and closes the refrigerator door. The second robot arm takes the hot pizza, cuts six slices into the pie, and puts it into a box.
Unfortunately for pizza fans, this is just a concept vehicle, and it’s highly unlikely that Toyota will take it beyond a fun exercise for the SEMA show, which takes place in Las Vegas this week.
There is an alternative, however. Startup Zume, headquartered in Mountainview Calif., has pizza delivery vehicles equipped with pizza ovens that can cook up to 120 pizzas per hour. The restaurant itself also uses robots to assist humans in making the pies.