- The Washington Times - Monday, January 8, 2018

Pizza Hut and Toyota have joined forces with the goal of creating autonomous vehicles that can deliver meals and possibly cook in transit.

Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation, told attendees at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday that self-driving cars will muddy distinctions between brick-and-mortar and online commerce. He unveiled e-Palette, Toyota’s autonomous concept vehicle, as proof of a new business landscape just over the horizon.

“Just think how great e-Palette will be at Burning Man,” Mr. Toyoda said during a press event, technology website Engadget reported.

Pizza Hut’s U.S. President Artie Starrs released a statement touting the relationship, which is expected to bear fruit in 2020.

“We are focused on technology-based solutions that enable our team members and drivers to deliver even better customer experiences,” Mr. Starrs said, Business Insider reported. “With Toyota, we are excited to be partnering with an undisputed leader in human mobility with a reputation for innovation, reliability and efficiency, as we define the pizza delivery experience of the future.”

The website noted that the self-driving vehicles “may one day be used by Pizza Hut to deliver and possibly cook pizzas.”

Other companies that have allied with Toyota for the project include Amazon, Didi, Mazda and Uber.

“It’s my goal to transition Toyota from an automobile company to a mobility company,” Mr. Toyoda said, Engadget reported.

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